List: since July 2001 integrated updates in Ways-of-Christ.net/ , 21st of March, 2017.
*This list contains updates of the main text pages "Ways of Jesus Christ in human consciousness and in the changes of the world", and of most of the extra pages - mainly in the sequence of the ebook text.
Darkred/ pink/ grey,: newer updates. You find them with their context from the homepage or the main texts.
You find new pages on the Homepage; and some in the main text.
Part 1, The Gospels
Change in "Introduction":
For 2000 years, - including previous prophecies several thousand years more – people have vouched for their manifold and direct experiences with Jesus Christ again and again. In spite of their varying characters and various religious, philosophical and scientific contexts, they show some mutual perceptions, independently from each other. They also speak about the possibility for others to prepare themselves for similar experiences. New abilities for people and the world can also be seen through Jesus Christ, far exceeding mere cultural and historical bounds. Here these steps of growth are explored in a new way. Along the steps which Jesus himself went through, their significance for different fields of life shows itself.
Change in "Introduction"
This work tries to answer the question of the new specific possibilities of development in the various areas of life, since Jesus lived 2000 years ago. This contribution is composed as an impulse.
Change in "Introduction"
Nothing is meant as a dogma or as an opinion of any religious organisation in the world. Nothing is directed against any church, religious or spiritual group, or against the Apostles' Creed. People who relate themselves to another religious or ideological background, but who are positively interested in new insights of a Christian approach, neither trivial nor superficial, can find this here too. It also points out the relationship between a Christian Path and other inclinations. Just as John's Gospel portrays the specific Christian way in a language understandable for the seekers of wisdom of that time, this work makes Christianity similarly accessible from various sides. The style of this document also lets the mind of the reader be free. Research & exploration are different to missionary work. Nevertheless, also Christians who prefer a simple belief to profound considerations may learn from this text, e.g. how to communicate with the people of other beliefs without constant misunderstandings.
"I still have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of the truth comes, he will guide you into all truth" (John 16:12-13). Ways of Christ draws inspiration from this spirit.
Our texts were partly written with the help of meditative reflection on bible texts. Consequently, apart from the information they contain, they are also written as suitable starting points for meditating on chapters of the gospels.
Bible Study, i.e. reading and working through the texts and their meanings, is only one method. During the study of the Gospels the chapters of the main text of "ways-of-christ.net" and, last but not least, God can contribute to a deeper understanding. Anyone who is more closely interested in a holistic approach - including the neglected parts of our soul - can read and meditate on the chapter, e.g. of the Gospel of John and then study the chapter of the main text of "ways-of-christ.net".
It would be possible too, to include the manifold pictures and symbols in old churches (buildings).
Even those, who - seeking inner experiences - took the useless and dangerous path of drugs, could instead of this find a fullfilling experience in meditation.
** ... Studying the printed text in a concentrated way helps to avoid those problems that independent researchers attribute to an overdose of internet and "multi-tasking" (i.e. the simultaneous performing of a multiple of tasks).
*** A (deeper) understanding of these pages requires a consideration of its (consistent) self-conception - see the Introduction -; and of additional methods used (see above, methodical tips). Others look at such an attitude - during study of texts - as a general guideline for serious work, in philosophy too ("principle of charity", Donald Davidson, "On the Very Idea of having a Conceptual Scheme", in "Proceedings and Adresses of the American Philosophical Association", Vol.47, 1973-1974, S. 19).
(new) topics/theologichistory.htm :These pages and the various schools of theology:
With the help of the Greek language and their learnedness they were able to make early Christian traditions much clearer for Europeans...
Until now, problems between fundamentalism and relativism have dominated the discussion.
Apart from that, the so called "Jesus disclosure stories" outside of theological circles over the last few years have been detrimental to the present discussion.
...In the "mystical theology" of today's Orthodox Churches some of it is well preserved.
- argument, counter-argument and conclusions -
There is no reason not to consider the type of literature, but then as fittingly as possible instead of schematically, such as our page on the so-called Gospel of Philip. It is also repeatedly necessary to compare the statements of the scriptures with the circumstances of those times – and it is important not to immediately belittle what was written at the time when seen from the modern-day zeitgeist. The connection with the emerging congregation can also shed light on the meaning, but this does not have to lead to limiting the view to external, purely human events, in which God no longer directly appears, although he was the most important for mankind. The fact that a message was definitely given to certain people does not at all mean there was no universal meaning. It is important for us today to look for the significance of the tradition; however the full content will only become clear to us if we take the plausibility of what was promised seriously, even for the people of today, or at least attempt to do so.
*** (...) See Hans Küng, Christianity. Essence, History, Future, Special edition 2007 for a study of the development of Christianity. His aim is an integrated research that accepts the contents of the scriptures as a contextual source, in spite of archaeology and critical theological research. We don’t accept all the consequences set out therein and resulting from historical-critical research. For instance, some events surrounding Jesus appear largely to be nothing more than subjective experiences. However, Küng is open to an open kind of reality of such experiences, which is yet to be explored. By the way, his interesting method of exploring steps in the development of Christianity in general (paradigms) is unable to sufficiently recognise the significance of schools of thought such as the Mystics, which, generally speaking, were never crucial until now. They have unearthed methods which are very important for grasping the full potential of Christianity. Additionally, often one cannot understand human beings with an inner spiritual "mission" or mystics through a mere historical-critical analysis, because they have an independent inner spiritual biography apart from their visible biography. It is more helpful to take their teachings seriously rather than picking them to pieces.
****** Jesus, the disciples and theology.
There are "theologies" within the New Testament. But the writers must have combined it consciously. They felt for the fact, that Jesus has had many "sides". One needs several theological viewpoints to understand him.
He taught the social awareness of liberal or liberation theology too – and he taught the strict (individual) ethical guidelines of rather conservative theologians (but not formal and not based on the power of the state.)
He also had the spiritual attitude of Christian mystics or esoteric Christians (compare the mystical theology of the eastern Orthodox Church) - and, nevertheless, he wanted the Disciples to manage their life in the physical world (which is the main topic of most current theologians and missions, especially the Protestant ones).
Jesus showed a "supernatural" relation to God, (from baptism up to the Cross & Resurrection, noticed for instance in the meditative review of John the Disciple and his Disciples.); that can not be explained by the intellectual consciousness of theologians like Bultmann – nevertheless Jesus had to go through human stages of life, which are understood by natural sciences.
Some incidents can be understood by deep psychology of our time, some are spiritual beyond psychology.
Many viewpoints are almost lost, since big parts of the original Early Christianity were persecuted as "heretic", (becoming mixed with real misuses of Religion.) They all were one-sided, but not more one-sided than any existing church.
This one-sidedness is not automatically negative. The constructive parts of all that attempts would be o.k.- if they would not think, that they are the only ones who are right, and that the other ones would be completely wrong.
The Gospels and theologies.
The Gospels – and for instance that part of the Gospel of Mark, named "Q"– represent different viewpoints. So they are written for groups of people with different background. Mark was important (for instance) for the analytical mind of the Romans and for translations into the roman languages. But Prof. Morton Smith named a "secret part" of that Gospel, stemming from Peter, used for a few experienced people only, containing the Lazarus story and so on. The austrian mystic Lorber says, Mark was - as a boy - an appreciated messenger between the Disciples. So he would have known exactly, what was going on. He shows approaches of a theologian, with the central question "who is Jesus?".
The original Matthew, which is lost or not yet discovered, must have been directed to the Jews; also the present Gospel of Matthew is finally directed to everybody who needs extended descriptions full of life about the deeds of Jesus.
Luke similarly, but with deep feelings.
The Gospel of St. John was written for spiritual Christians (for instance with Greek Mystery origin), working out the specific Christian concept in their language.
John most clearly looks at the life of Jesus from the Cross and Resurrection; Matthew starts from the life. Both viewpoints are correct, but the cross and resurrection have most consequences for the time after.
The "Gospel of Philippus" (apocryphic) is no Gospel, but an Early Christian "contribution to a discussion" with several movements, having its viewpoint between them. (It is no gnostic paper, as some may assume.). The "Gospel of Tom" (apocryphic) is no Gospel, but a collection of sayings of Jesus - at least most of it authentical -, including some wordings dedicated to spiritually interested people…
Different peoples could work out different aspects better.
Similarly the different methods of research are all useful, if applied together (interdisciplinarily). However, if one tries to built up theology on one science only (like linguistic research or "Formgeschichte" or archeological research), the result becomes partially false. Additional meditative methods are necessary.
Furthermore, more or less independent from Christian theology there is a general religious science, and philosophy, which both sometimes stand in competition to theology in as much as they address religious questions, which are difficult to access if researchers do not have their own religious reference to them. If someone combines that with a real search for God, however, it can be a fruitful supplement.In the course of time, these subjects could turn out to be far more compatible if religiousness were to be recognised as a basic characteristic of the human condition.(see"Religion...")
Addition in "In the beginning was the Word"…":
Here it is noted that the Koran accepts Jesus Christ as a prophet sent by God, and as the "Word" of God, "created like Adam" (mentioned in several places). This is more than some modern Christian theologians accept, who see only the social reformer Jesus! Only Jesus as God's Son - Christians at the time of Mohammed imagined this very physically - in the context of the later doctrine of the trinity was not accepted by the Koran. At that time, there were hardly any Christians left who werecapable of explaining this authentically to someone of another faith.
"In the beginning…":
Neither can people with a recognisably mystical or spiritual mission really be understood if they are historically and critically only seen from their external socialisation, instead of including their independent inner spiritual development.
(last sentence cancelled, now in the chapter ascension)
*) The existence of Jesus is relatively well documented in history. Historians from the 1st Century A.D. such as Josephus and Tacitus confirm his actual emergence. In the biblical gospels too, the times and places of numerous events are mentioned. For example, several rulers and officials (e.g. Luke 3:1, 2, 23), can be identified by the year in which Jesus began his ministry. These same people were again to be found in historical documentation. Hence the biblical reports do not have the character of mere mythological stories. The "Apocrypha", e.g. additional Christian gospels, including texts from the early centuries after Christ, which are not part of the bible, often place less emphasis on exact reporting, but more on certain interpretations of isolated events by the various authors.
Change in "Birth of Jesus…"
In the sequence within the gospels we come now to more human events. Traditionally, the birth of Jesus is connected with Christmas - although this may not be noticeable in many of the Christmas activities. (Luke 1, 26-56; Matthew 1-2). Faced with the central importance of the later 3 teaching years - one may ask why some present-day theologians have laid such emphasis on denying the virgin birth of Jesus.
Addition in "Birth...":
The Koran speaks about Jesus as a being "created" by God "like Adam" in the virgin Mary, similar to the bible, reporting about the angel coming to Mary.
Right from the beginning, the life and the ministry of Jesus were interwoven with the course of world history. That already becomes apparent in the census, which was decreed by the Roman emperor, which caused Jesus’ parents to travel to the prophetically significant town of Bethlehem where Jesus was born. That fact was taken into account in theological literature when it came to the debate on the worldwide significance of Jesus.
Question: If I have not yet experienced it, can I wish for an inner renewal from God as the source of everything?
In the additional page "The new birth" of the main text:
Even for people, who don't seek this experience intensively, at an earlier, restful age Christmas was connected with this experience. The festive mood during the Advent time of the Church year prepared for the inward reminiscence of the "Birth of Christ"; as the conscious fasting time prepared for Easter Sunday. So in some years one could experience something - even though not fully understanding it -, that needs today intensive meditation or long periods of prayer.
Christmas is a feast of love too, reminding of Jesus as a gift to mankind. However this does not change the deeper meaning; one can follow all steps in the life of Jesus. Love accompanies all steps too. Cf. also the chapter "And the word became flesh" in the main text.
Born-again Christians in the context of free churches, etc.
- are urged to continue building their faith daily, thus continually perfecting themselves.
- It is now befitting for them to take command of all areas in their life, which will require most of them to make many changes.
- As Revelation 21:5 says of a coming period, "Behold, I make all things new", it is likewise time for Christians to renew their thoughts about everything even today.
Change in "The Baptism.in the Jordan.."
God can take shape in the human being, allowing men and women to become more clearly recognizable as "God's images", or, as mystics express, "Christ's spark" in the heart - full of love - becomes filled with life and begins to grow.
...That is already there, and is anchored more clearly in the further course of the way of Jesus.
Liberal theologians have portrayed the baptism of Jesus as a vocational experience. Seen from a traditional theological point of view, however, the calendrical and prophetic embedding in world history was also an issue (e.g. Luke 3:1-4 including the reference to Isaiah 40:3-5; ): the prophecy deals with a redemptive act of God.
Question: If I haven't already, can I give my life into God's hands?
"Jesus' youth", last paragraph:
Nobody can say, he/she has never heard about.
Addition in "The silence in the desert", concerning the practice according to Lorber:
... It is possible to pray for purification and enlightment by his spirit.
Cf. our excerpts from the Christian mystic Jakob Böhme too (only in German).
Cf. Teresa of Ávila "Interior Castle".
Addition in "The silence in the desert", concerning practices of monks in the eastern Church
Later in one`s development it is felt in the throat without spoken words. Another step is, while holding one's breath, to feel it in one's heart centre...
Addition in "The silence in the desert", footnote:
Christ is a title. In Early Christianity there were different versions. The most wellknown one is "Christos" (Greek), which is the "Messiah" (Hebrew) = "The anointed one". There was also "Chrestos" (Greek) = the good one, the holy one; and - infrequent - "Chrystos" (from Greek "chrysos" = golden /shining).
Changes in "The Temptations":
Jesus had to learn too, and had to turn his human qualities to God more and more.
First of all, there are retarded and isolated tendencies in humans themselves - when active without the connecting heart; these isolated thoughts and subsequently isolated will is one meaning of "eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge" (Genesis).
(The paragraph concerning zoroastrism shortened, with reference to an extra page "The Old T., and the prechristian religions")
Some smaller Christian groups thought, the term "prince of the world" - e.g. John 14:30 - would mean, the world "belongs" to him for a long time, and man could only overcome his influence. But the New Testament describes only his tempting and usurping role. See John 12:31 too.
However, such personal "sore points" can also represent a point of response for similar external forces. Traces of this can be found in all societies, e.g. – in the west in situations in which money and egotism are considered to be of the highest value; especially in the old form without any type of social system, the one-sidedness of nationalism and fascism . –This is especially true wherever there was arrogance and indifference to the rest of the world, destructive "religious" activities and in the extremes of Stalinism, specifically in its brutal rule over a faceless society. But this is not a condemnation of everything and everybody in such societies.
Addition at the end of this chapter:
With Christ there is also no eternal damnation. All destructive forces can be converted in the end, up to the time of the last chapter of St. John´s revelation, promising that darkness will cease to exist (cf. the chapter "The New Earth"....
After those experiences in the desert Jesus called the disciples (John 1, Matthew 4, 18 - 22, Matthew 10).
*Again in the story of the Temptations, theology traditionally considers the symbolic connection with the history of mankind: the desert with its dangerous animals is seen as the antithesis of the world of Adam’s paradise handed down to us and therefore as a condition that needs to be overcome by Jesus as the "new Adam". In the first Temptation, turning stones into bread, the story deals with the question of whether the Material or God should play the leading role. (Later, in stories dealing with the feeding and awakening of a great mass of people, we no longer see it as a temptation.) In the second Temptation, to jump from the roof of the temple, the story deals with overcoming pride concerning the burdens of human life. Jesus went through everything that was imposed upon him (until it was dissolved by the Resurrection). The third Temptation deals with the power of existing worldly kingdoms, or the God-given "kingdom of heaven". (In the further course, however, the worldly relevant, predicted "kingdom of peace" could also bring about the conversion of worldly striving for power by God.)
Additions in "The wedding at Cana":
In the Catholic Church the earlier practice of the adoration of the heart of Jesus and of the pure heart of Mary, has almost been forgotten today.
In this context, that which we have received from father and mother needs to become integrated into one's (his/her) personality.
(Concerning the divine aspect of "Mary-Sophia" see later in the chapter "The Whitsun event".)
**) The concepts of "anima and animus" are not a question of faith. For instance, it is the experience of many people, whether they are Christians or not, that men and women have both ‘male’ and ‘female’ aspects to their psyche, stemming at least in part from the father and mother who brought them up; and which they can learn to integrate into their personality. The terms anima / animus, used by depth psychologists, may not correspond exactly to this reality; however, it is.their approach to understand it.
Traditional theology saw this event as replacing the Greek Dionysus cult, or as a symbolic tie with the meeting of Israel with God ("on the third day..." 2nd Moses 19:16) as well as in anticipation of the Passion of Christ, in which the wine takes on a deeper significance.
Question: Can God help me improve my relationship toward people of the opposite sex?
(new) en1234/revision_en060506.htm : Mary of Magdala.
Change in chapter 10 "Sexuality, sympathy, empathy, love...", 5th. par.:
In this context charity is then something more than just instinctive care for relatives and so forth; however, although it does not exclude them of course - in a free way.
Additions in 10, 6th/ 7th par.:
And getting to know someone must not mean leaving the existing partner. But a loving mood goes with it.
... energy upward ...
Sexual love -"Eros" - is a special case of universal love -"Agape". So this is not necessarily a contradiction. The new Encyclica "Deus caritas est" of Pope Benedict XVI accepts this too.
Addition in 10, 10th par.:
Those who want to avoid sexual activities before marriage, can do so successfully, if both people are clear about what they want and don’t want and support each other accordingly.
Addition in 10"
The highest love is unconditional love. Cf. even loving "enemies" Matthew 5, 43-48 - which does not exclude wisdom.
*) Mankind is a complex network, which may become clearer in the next chapters.
topics/relations.htm : see revisions of chapter 10.
Additions in "The Holy
... because not everyone's emotions are on such a high level - filled with love - as Jesus'.
; so hearing someone's confession has - besides the spiritual aspect - a therapeutical effect too.
This (a non-judgmental attitude) may require to stop quarreling, take a break - see the chapter "The silence in the dessert" - and then having a frank talk with each other.
This is a phase of new birth too.
In this context there are European spiritual paths which include nerve or consciousness centers known in Yoga as "chakras" (Anthroposophy, Universal Life - not to be confused with the Universal Life Church -, and others). One cannot automatically describe these ideas as being non-Christian, as some churches would have us believe, but were already known to the Christian theosophists in medieval times (J. G. Gichtel*), and can now be recognized as really existing in each of us - just as the acupuncture points and -channels, especially well known in China, are not automatically "taoist", because these points and lines can be measured electrically and viewed histologically in human flesh.
**) The "zeal" in this sense differs from "Zeal without understanding" (Romans 10:1-3)
Question: Can God help me deal with my emotions more consciously?
Change in "The Sermon on the Mount":
... under their loving control ....
So the "head" becomes more open for the "heart" too.
Clarity remains, or can only develop in relationship to man’s understanding of certain questions ranging from ignorance to speculation, presumption, theory and belief, finally ending in knowledge. That is an important basis for growth.
This consciousness leads to a phase of new birth too.
In theology the connection to Old Testament revelations has been appraised: e.g. Psalms 1 and Jer. 17:7f. According to 4th Moses 12:3 in connection with Mt. 11:20, Jesus was seen as the new Moses. The prophesy in Zechariah 9:9f. "...his kingdom stretched from sea to sea" speaks of the worldwide significance of the promulgated kingdom of God. There was no overlooking the fact that in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus repeatedly transformed laws from the Old Testament into something new: "…but I say unto you…", i.e. he did not speak as a rabbi interpreting scripture, but from the awareness of a divine mission. Exactly this prophetic and messianic characteristic was disputed by those who only believed in the Old Testament.
Addition in "The Transfiguration":
Then one understands too, which behaviour may be suitable in which circumstances. (22.12.01)
Some theologians see the Transfiguration and the professing of Christ by Peter in the light of the simultaneous Jewish day of atonement or the subsequent Feast of Tabernacles. (The day of atonement was the only time in the year when the priest uttered the name of God in the inner sanctum of the temple.) Others saw a connection with Moses climbing Mount Sinai (2nd Moses 24:16).
Question: Can God help me restructure my thoughts in accordance with reason?
Additions in "The miracles"
(John 5, 6-9; John 6; John 9, 3 ...)..
Concerning the "gifts of the Holy Spirit" see also 1. Corinthians 12, 7-11; Acts 2, 17-20; and the chapter "The Whitsun event" in this booklet.
Additions in "Lazarus..." after the paragraph concerning time, space
(cf. Books of Marco Pogacnik)
...the loving spirit of Christianity
Now the account of the passion follows....
Question: Can I perceive God as the one who helps to bridge the gulf between life and death, as well as between consciousness and sleep?
Addition in "The Sheep":
Jesus also contrasts
"sheep" with "goats" (for instance Matthew 25:32-33).
Addition in "Washing the Feet", 2nd paragraph:
Jesus also values good deeds much more highly than Christian lip service (Matthew 25, 31-43...).
Addition in "Washing the feet" 3rd paragraph:
…higher, non-egoistic "I" …
Now "personal destiny" is less important.
Addition in "Washing the Feet", 5th paragraph:
But in the meantime there are many efforts of people, which must be taken serious, to be in contact with angels in their daily life.
After "Washing the feet"
The anointing at Bethany is followed in John 12 by the triumphal Entry of Jesus at Jerusalem as the Messiah. After the Washing of the Feet, John 13-17, the prediction of the betrayal by Judas Iscariot is handed down; then come the Last Speeches and the prayer of Jesus for himself and the disciples.
In the Washing of the Feet, theologians have often seen a symbolic act that points to the upcoming crucifixion of Jesus; or an example of serving with the purifying love of God. However, it was also heralded as a deed with direct impact.
Question: Do I want to ask* God – if I haven’t already – for my good-will toward others to become second nature to me – even if it’s strenuous?
Change in "The Last Supper, ...the whipping..."
This Last Supper is the better symbol for what Jesus gives to suffering mankind. The bread represents the substance (and/or the soul) of Jesus Christ, the "Word of God". The wine represents the divine spirit of Christ, which gives life to this word for altruistic work. The Catholic Church stressed the change of the substance of the bread and wine to the pure flesh and blood of Jesus, while the Protestant Churches stressed the remembrance of Jesus. On one hand both are right. Scientists found out that even the simple "holy water" of the Catholic Church shows that the angle of the water molecules had changed. However, the most important viewpoint would be the change within the person taking part , by attuning to what really radiates from the transformed and transforming "flesh and blood" of Jesus Christ. So it would be good to do this practice in the churches with great concentration. Some even tried to do this directly in spirit only - without the visible help of bread and wine – and still felt the effect, which is a lot more difficult to achieve. For those who want to practice a blessed meal without claiming it to be a "Holy Sacrament" of the church, it can be called "Agape" - supper of love.
Theologians also discussed whether the Last Supper represented their own form of the Jewish Passover feast, or whether Jesus replaced the old feast by heralding himself as the actual "Lamb of God". The new covenant of God with the people (the New Testament) through Jesus (Luke 22:20) was seen as being connected to 2nd Moses 24:8; Jer. 31:31-33; Isaiah 53:12. The bread was seen more as the person of Jesus and the blood as the complete healing devotion. Others have doubted the originality of that which has been handed down (so-called words of institution), which is not very likely when one considers that they belong to some of the earliest of scriptures.
Question: If I haven’t already, do I want to ask* God for the ability to cooperate lovingly with others – even if it requires me to change my mind?
Change in "The crowning with thorns; and the last speeches"
...and in the meetings with Pilate, e.g. John 19,5* ("See, The human being", which can be experienced in meditation like Pilate's feeling for Jesus Christ as the model of redeemed human beings).
**) However, in the history of religions there existed a figure of derision or a king of mockery, who was made to bear the brunt of public anger. In the Old Testament there was the scapegoat, who was meant to atone for the sins of the people (3rd Moses 16:15). In both cases it was meant as a kind of symbolic ritual. For that reason, traditional theology has made an effort to illustrate that only Jesus was capable of making a really effective sacrifice for mankind. Some critical theologians were of the opinion that due to this harking back to old sacrificial cultures they could question the basic idea of a victim. That may have been frivolous but, as illustrated above, the events contain far more than the aspect of sacrificing oneself. His goal is also important.
Question: Do I want to ask* God – if I am not already conscious about it – to help me deal wisely with groups I belong to – even if it requires working hard on my old thoughts?
Change in "The Crucifixion...":
...like bearing the stigma of Christ and not eating; see e.g. Thurston "The physical concomitants of the mysticism" (title retranslated; it should exist in english), and Höcht "Von Franziskus zu Pater Pio and Therese Neumann" (german); and the following chapter.
Correction in "The Crucifixion":
Sadhu Sundar Singh
Addition in "The Crucifixion":
This is an approach to help the intellect understanding the significance. However, initially the Christians may have suited this style to the mind of ancient Jews and other ancient peoples, who thought, that sacrificing animals etc. would put God in a favo(u)rable mood. ...
Additions in "The crucifixion":
The beneficial effect of the events did not depend on this violent action against Jesus, and is connected with the resurrection too. It's the work of God.
Similar to the first disciples of Jesus after the Crucifixion and Resurrection, traditional theologians realised that several Old Testament texts, right down to the fine details, could be read as allusions to the later Passion of Jesus and its saving turnabout (Luke 24:27; Psalms 22; Psalms 40:7ff.; Psalms 69:22; Isaiah 52:13-14 and 53; Zechariah 12:10 and 13:1; Wisdom 2:10-20, etc.) Again in the traditional writings on Jesus’ years of ministry, there were several allusions to the later Crucifixion and Resurrection – which are partly somewhat difficult to recognise and particularly for that reason cannot be explained away as late additions. Moreover, the pre-Christian Greek philosopher Plato sensed that his ideal image of a completely just person in this world would end in a crucifixion (in Politeia II). It is noticeable that these occurrences must have also made quite a deep impression on the Romans (e.g. Mark 15:38). Despite the perceptibly major significance of this sacrifice in the greater biblical scheme of things, some critical theologians were not particularly impressed by it. Right from the early days of Christianity, various groups took the very steps that people of their groups had experienced, or those which they were able to comprehend, which led to varying religious focuses.
Question: Do I want to ask* God to help me seek to overcome the old concepts of ageing, illness and death?
Addition in "The Crucifixion", par. 19
...redeption - the love bearing the world - ...
Addition in "The Grave...":
The two herbal substances used by Nicodemus, were also suitable (effective) in this combination for the embalming of the dead.
Addition in "The Grave…"
Today there are some theologians, who don't believe in life after death, or in "Eternal Life" through the experience of Jesus. They had adapted their thoughts to the long since outdated science of the 19th century. One might get spiritual experience by asking oneself frequently "what is behind?".
Change in "The Resurrection":
...look at the state of Jesus described in the bible, ...
Changes in "The Resurrection"
Also in the anthroposophic view of Rudolf Steiner, the "resurrected body" of Christ, the "new Adam" - 1Cor 15:45-47 - is seen as a re-creation and is available for all people since then, as a way for personal development (the so-called physical "phantom body", spiritual, but with potential effects on the physical body. It relates to the experience of the "Inner Christ" of mystics, who connects himself with the development of the human being.) Even in Theosophical circles (A. Bailey, there for instance named "Revelation" or "5th initiation"), Jesus' resurrection is seen as a real re-creation.
Changes in "The Ressurrection:
Here is noted that the "resurrected body" as really belonging to the being cannot be fully equated with the "apparent body" (Mayavirupa) of esoteric literature, which some masters are said to produce like some kind of clothing for making themselves visible. However, this also shows their mastery of spirit over matter.
The modern teachings, sometimes unclearly formulated, about " bodies of light" also show some similarities. This concerns the resonance of the higher bodies in the physical body. This is also a bridge for entering the realities beyond physical consciousness without leaving the physical body, by a method named in Hebrew "Merkabah". Its fundamentals can be found in Prof. J. J. Hurtak "The Keys of Enoch" and "The synoptic gospels", Academy for Future Science, P.O.Box FE, Los Gatos, CA 95030, USA. Now a manifold movement for "lightwork" has developed, which is not limited to any organisation. These lightworkers want to help the earth in this difficult period of time. But there is a temptation to think that some new exercises would fulfil all hopes for the so-called "ascension" alone. Actually nothing works without a holistic development, including growth in character. See the next chapter too.
Addition in "The Resurrection"
...he appeared voluntarily, with love, in his resurrection body.
Addition in "The Resurrection"
Especially the way to resurrection is no mere spiritual work "free of the body", but the "body" becomes spiritual and spirit becomes physical - the begin is beyond all one-sided intellectual arbitrary. Cf. for instance Luke 24:36-43.
Addition in "The Resurrection"
Today abilities develop(p)ed on the way of the "emulation of Christ" during the centuries - are relevant too.
Addition in "The Resurrection"
(See also e.g. 1.Cor.15:53; Philippians 3:21; ).
His spiritual partner, "Mother" Mira Alfassa could penetrate unknown layers of the physical body in this way, e.g. of the cells containing memory, which are related to the old programs of death. She experienced this as "working on the one body of mankind".
(And changes in the sequence of paragraphs).
Additions in "The Resurrection":
A motto of the Christian Rosicrucians was "Born in God, died in Christ, resurrected (reviviscimus) in the Holy Spirit".
In the Jewish belief there was a resurrection or a raising from the dead, but only at the end of time. In traditional Christian theology, however, the Resurrection is seen as a new opportunity through belief in Christ, but without having worked it out beyond the Last Supper. Within modern, critical theological considerations, it can already be seen as progress - compared with a more materialistic form of theology, which wanted to simply explain away anything that was difficult to envisage -, that the Resurrection is again being picked up as a "metaphor"= in a figurative, allegorical sense. (Hans Kessler, anthology "Resurrection of the Dead"). Some may need an approach of this kind to that which is difficult to imagine, but not necessarily those who are able to directly believe in the Resurrection as both an internal and an external reality. In some respects, this belief of simple Christians corresponds more to today’s level of research and knowledge in many fields, as it is taken up in today's studies. For those who see everything as simply "metaphorical", according to our studies, they are only likely to gain the benefit of spiritual edification – and the healing effect, which can have an impact right into the physical body, even today, can be at least delayed or lessened.
Question: Do I want to investigate with God how the power of the Resurrection can become fruitful today?
Addition in "The Ascension", begin:
Annotation: In English modern spiritual movements and lightworkers use the word "ascension" for another process, which is related to the power of Resurrection, as described in the previous chapter.
Addition in "The Ascension"
Addition in "Ascension" 5th paragraph:
..., as Christ decided consciously for us.
Addition in "The Ascension" concerning Churches
…as it happened often in the past
Change in "The Ascension":
Modern Christian new revelation networks, especially the "Universal life" - not to be confused with the Universal Life Church - also see a role of Christ today for the non-human living beings; coming to the conclusion that the future fate of the earth will not be placed in man’s hands. However, people who did not cause the problems on earth, but are a part of the "solution", will surely have their role, as mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount.
Annotation in The Ascension":
Note: from the Catholic church, for example, the theologian Monsignor Corrado Balducci (Vatican) has often voiced a corresponding view. Otherwise, the officials of the various churches often assumed merely a psychic or sociological phenomenon. Nevertheless, in May 2008 the official Vatican newspaper "Osservatore Romano" reported: "The universe consists of billions of galaxies, each of which is made up of hundreds of billions of stars. How can one exclude the possibility that life has also developed somewhere else? We cannot limit the creative freedom of God. If, like Francis of Assisi, we see the creatures of the Earth as our brothers and sisters, why shouldn’t we then also speak of an extra-terrestrial brother? It is possible that other intelligent creatures still live in complete harmony with their creator. "
Theologians have related the Ascension of Jesus in a "cloud" to sections of the Old Testament (2nd Moses 13:21 and 40:34). They handled the subsequent joy of the disciples as a clearly experienced new type of presence of Christ, some of them as something extremely real and others as something subjective.
Is a current or future significance of the ascension to heaven a question that affects my life with God?
Additions in "The first Whitsun Event" (Pentecost) concerning the Spirit
There are even relations to the "manna" (Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Psalms, Nehemiah, Joshua, John, the Letter to the Hebrews, Revelation.).
Addition in "The first Whitsun Event" concerning "Sophia":
The context may also be described like this: the "maternal" aspect of God helps creation to grow towards the creator, just as the creator approaches his creatures.
Change in "The first Whitsun Event"
The Catharians and Albigense people, minnesingers and troubadours formed groups in the context of this movement. Some of them had become a little detached from the world. Several million of these "esoteric" Christians were exterminated by the papacy as putative "heretics". Anyway, the deeper significance of the Grail is not exhausted by the other legend that physical descendants of Jesus in royal families are supposed to have been the Grail.
Question: What has God already helped to develop within me, and what is coming to me from God today?
"A picture of Jesus", footnote:
Concerning the imprint of Jesus' corpse on the "holy shroud of Turin" - see our chapter "Crucifixion ...". There is another cloth with the face of Jesus with open eyes, i.e. the "veil of Manoppello", which is being investigated by P. Prof. Dr. Heinrich Pfeiffer and Sister Blandina Paschalis Schlömer ever since 1979. http://voltosanto.com . This image is difficult to explain too. For instance, one cannot paint on mussel silk. The face measurements on the two cloths are congruent. Cf. John 20: 5-7. These pictures both influenced the paintings of the early centuries. The veil, which seems to have been wrapped around the head of Jesus, shows a frontal view of an oval face with the hair. There are also some similarities to the above described picture, which shows the living Jesus from the side.
Part 2: The Revelation
Additions in chapter "The Revelation of John":
In traditional (Christian) theology, Rev. 5:6 was presented in detail as a fundamental vision: the lamb that was slaughtered and nevertheless stands upright before the throne of God. In an ecclesiastical view of things, the church has been seen as the first place where the new is implemented. Otherwise, theologians treated the Book of Revelation in connection with the eschatological trust in a "kingdom" of God to come, particularly in connection with the corresponding speeches from the time of Jesus’ ministry. That which God began with Jesus, but which has yet to be completed, continues to unfold until completion; see Philippians 1:6. It occurred that a beginning of a "new heaven and a new earth"(Rev. 21) with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus had been assumed – and then a continual development in this direction was assumed. However, the Book of Revelation speaks of an upheaval of unheard dimensions, no matter how symbolically it may be seen. The apparent contradiction between something actually already existent and a later realisation will only really be resolved when that awareness is meditatively comprehended to some degree, which Jesus shows when he repeatedly says words to the effect of "The time is coming and it is already now…"(Rev. 4 and 5): It states that something on a more spiritual level already really existing will come into its own on the visible plane at a later point in time.
Additions in The Revelation, Chapter "How to deal with prophecies":
Other contradictions in such "perceptions of the future" obviously reflect various and partly contradictory scenarios of the future. In the collective mind of mankind that means "real, not yet clearly decided possibilities" coming mainly from various human fantasies .... Everyone participates consciously or unconsciously in this ongoing process of deciding about the future. (* See also an extra window at the end of the chapter about the "7 bowls of wrath").
A note: it does not help much to mix the Revelation with the prophecy of the Old Testament. Although there are some passages with similar images. It is, however, necessary to compare it with the historical events of pre-christian times, given in the Appendix of many Bible editions. So it becomes clear that those prophets in most cases foresaw pre-christian incidents like the Babylonian Captivity and the return from there, and the later wars in the country and a victory of the Jews at that time; also the events concerning the Messiah or Christ (concerning the Messiah compare our page about the Old Testament). Only a few places additionally indicate matters of our time or of the contents of the Revelation (for instance Jesaja 24; 25; 27; 66:15; Daniel 7:9-28; Proverbs 2:21-22.)
In most cases clearvoyants and inspirated people also could not predict the time of incidents correctly (related to our time).
Additions in "The 7 Communities/ Churches"
"dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet" -his spirit penetrates everything, including his feet representing the will-; "with a golden sash round his chest" -the love of his heart is connected with wisdom-. "His head and hair were white ..." -by that connection with love the head is shining-; "and his eyes were like blazing fire" -his eyes shine on the world-; "his feet were like bronze (/gold) glowing in a furnace" -his steps have a purifying effect outwardly-; "and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters" -in his voice vibrates the spirit too-. "In his right hand he held seven stars" -God attracts all powers and human characters towards him, with his right hand representing the future, they follow him-; "and out of his mouth came a sharp, double-edged sword..." -he brings the real ability to distinguish and differentiate.
Besides this, the communities presumed that there was an angel accompanying their work... .
Additional: The "Enlightenment on the Apocalypse" (... by Helene Möller - 1884-1969 -, Publisher: Radona-Verlag, Am Buchstein 14/15, D-61250 Usingen, Germany, was available in English too) relates the "7 churches" to various times in church history:
1. 33- 333 A.D.: Struggles to observe the Lord's instructions correctly... .
2. 333- 633 A.D.: Problems and faithfulness of the old Church... .
3. 633- 933 A.D.: Enlightenment through the (Holy) Scriptures... .
4. 933- 1233 A.D.: Danger to the Church through "vanity, love of ostentation, greed, sensuality".
(Annotation: wars and the inquisition came within this period too.)
5. 1233- 1533 A.D.: "Impurity and selfishness" in the Church, followed by "apostasy".
(However, that book looks at the Catholic and Protestant Churches, as "the two witnesses" of Rev. 11 - like two partners matching each other.)
6. 1533- 1833 A.D.: A superficial Christianity... .
(Annotation: the beginning of rationalism and the old mechanistic science were during that time period too.)
7. 1833- 2000 A.D.: Indifference of many people concerning the churches and God.
(Then we are said to be nearing the radical change with the Second Coming of Christ, as written in the rest of John's book of Revelations. This is explained as one cosmic incident, looked at from several sides. Although that (old) scenario prevails, which includes major wars; but in contrast to the idea that "the prayer of the peoples" may change this - and especially that the faithful will connect themselves to God and his inspiration, and so become lifted up to him.)
The Bogumiles and the Catharians were partially similar, but were one-sidedly withdrawing from the world.
c.) 0. An important basis is the mutual view of baptism as a sacrament. During the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church in 1962 there was some opening for the ecumenical movement. It was accepted that elements like the Word of God, living mercy, hope, love and the gifts of the Holy Spirit - both invisible and visible elements - exist beyond the Catholic Church too and that sanctification and redemption are possible in other Churches too. But still the Catholic Church saw themselves as the only complete Church.
(in 2.) Jesus told St. Peter to take care of his "lambs" and "sheep".(John 21). However, Jesus did not assign the other Disciples and their circles to Peter, but the existing main stream of Christians. E.g. John had his own Churches in Asia (see above), Paul looked for many communities, etc. So the question iarises of what it might mean today that a successor of St. Peter "puts sheep out to pasture". ... If the Churches unite, they would surely choose a mutual leader.
4. The adoration of Mary as known in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches is not practised in protestant Churches, but this is not looked upon as a main obstruction to more unity. The Second Vatican Council accepted that in liturgical questions there may be beneficial differences, according to the mentality of the believers. We know, e.g. of the endeavours of a pastor in the fifties and sixties who tried to re-establish some kind of Mary worship in a protestant Church.
(After 7.) Indeed it would be possible for the churches to come closer to each other in a real ecumenical community, instead of tormenting* Christ with their delimitations. This should be done indeed "with sensitivity and consideration for each other, in patience and with courage, holding ther truth in reverence" (as John Paul II named it). Nevertheless, today one can already experience the "general" Church in the spirit of Jesus Christ, consisting of all those who follow Christ in their own way and endeavour "to do the will of the Father"; -no matter, what Churches they belong to, or whether or not they are members of any Church at all, or whether they necessarily use the term Christianity all the time. This is a basis for the "Ways of Christ" website. This kind of experience does not replace approaches to visible unity. However, this unity must be really attempted; a signature on paper would not be sufficient.
*) Churches like the Catholic one might get some inspiration from the related messages of Christ by the Orthodox Christian Vassula Ryden, "The true life in God", vol. 1. The Catholic Church looks at such writings as "private inspirations". However, the content is often more than just interesting for the person concerned. (This website only mentions literature as additional information and our insights are independent of it.)
"Jesus help us to reduce the prejudices between Christian communities, that the Holy Spirit can work better through them."
- However, it is possible to pray for receiving the Holy Spirit.
However, this is difficult, lifelong learning process; and spreading such messages requires an actual call to do this, a special connection with God, and adequate preparation.
- Some Protestant Churches think, revelation has come to an end in the time of the New Testament. On the other hand there are many phenomena like this outside the big churches, cf. John 14:21-23.
- If someone studies such phenomena in Christianity without prejudices, he/she may first notice, that in most cases the attempted explanations like autosuggestion, mass suggestion, schizophrenia are not sufficient. Then the really interesting questions can start...
The human being has its own conscience, which is not a matter of conditioning.
- "...That You live like human beings and fulfil Your daily duties, but also properly leave room for God the almighty father in Your daily life." (From messages of Mother Mary to the seers at Garabandal and elesewhere).
- Spirit works through one's self, connected with Christ.
For instance, if somebody were to spread aggressively some defamation against another Christian, using opinions acquired by reading, and claiming a personal inspiration from Christ - and so causing discord - most probably it is neither a legitimate activity nor a true message from Christ or the Holy Spirit.
... For example, through the "inner voice/ inner word in the heart" which is fully conscious and therefore not to be confused with hypnotic or schizophrenic phenomena. Some experience in practice shows that its nature is different from telepathic phenomena too. (Cf. "Vom Inneren Wort" - German: The inner word, extracts from Johannes Tennhardt, Jakob Lorber, etc.; Lorber-Verlag).
(Consciously seeking the Spirit of God is spirituality, and seeking contacts to ghosts in trance is named spirit(ual)ism.)
*) ... ; cf. 1 Thess.5,19.
**) In some cases, however, even people with a genuine capacity for inspiration may undergo experiences similar to recognised mentally disturbed states - where the inner dialogues may continue obsessively and where the person remains unable to handle earthly necessities. To avoid such excesses as far as possible, it may help to take into account - besides the above aspects - some practical prerequisites like: enough sleep; adequate nutrition, e.g. with enough B vitamins (that means caution with fasting, if one does not have sufficient experience with it); a clear attunement to the desired source (Christ); the avoidance of overlong sessions, with the associated tendency to go off at a tangent and to become overexcited; and after intensive inner experiences, sufficient effort to return to the present "earthly" reality; to digest self-consciously the things heard. Helpers, spiritual guides (e.g. priests), therapists etc. may only be of practical assistance if they have specific experience / knowledge, which means taking not only the disturbed state seriously, but the undisturbed basic phenomenon too. The Catholic Saint Teresa of Ávila wrote in "Interior Castle", that "half learned" priests, who don't understand true gifts of God's mercy, cannot help to find out the difference between true and false ones.
Addition in "The 7 Seals":
The Christian-inspired "Book of true life" from Mexico explains the seals as starting from the earliest times of "Cain and Abel" up to the coming time of completion.
Between the 6th and 7th seal the text names the "sealed ones" and the "great multitude in white robes in heaven".
Change in "The 7 Trumpets":
...the 6th trumpet too, which may also show earthquakes. The seventh trumpet leads into the "temple of God", accompanied by flashes and voices, thunder and hail, which can also have an inner, mystical meaning.
Additions in "The beast out of the sea"
Rev. 18:11-23 is related to world trade. See later the chapter "The 7 bowls of wrath, the end of Babylon...". The "image" of this beast - cf. the next chapter Rev. 14 - might be related to false "images" (imaginations) of Jesus. There may be a relation to a dependency of multimedia devices, which is sometimes like an addiction or a cult.
Addition in "The Beast with two horns" - corrected title -, at the end:
But finally the revelation teaches no "eternal damnation"; finally everything can find a way to God; and in a higher meaning everything is wrapped in God. Cf. Revelation, 22, and the related chapter in this page about the New Earth...
Change in "The 7 bowls of wrath":
...limited earth changes...
It is up to each person to decide where they hope for help. (14.12.01)
In this connection, a vision of Mary at Garabandal (Spain) contains the prophecy of a "Great Warning" which shows all people inwardly what they must overcome within themselves - see also John 16:8; Rev. 14:6-20 - if they want to manage the transition to God's light - see also John 16:13. This is connected with a sign in the sky. Within one year after this event a "Great (healing) miracle" is announced - leaving a "sign" at Garabandal. As far as mankind would not turn over a new leaf, later the Judgement day with fire from heaven (the "bowls of God`s wrath") is said to come - revelation 16; see additionally Matthew 24:28.
(see in "The 7 churches" with extra page) (23.12.01)
Additions in "The 7 bowls of God's wrath" concerning Garabandal and the Second coming of Christ:
After this people might have to reconsider everything.
A possible preparation might be - besides changing one's life - to pray for the Holy Spirit just now.
Cf. also Rev. 12, Matthew 24,30; Acts 1:6-8.
... This period fundamentally deals with the last possible decision in each person's soul as to whether one wants to continue participating in development towards the coming "Kingdom of peace", which God prepared for the earth. (...) He does not simply come as a human being born on earth, but as the core of something more comprehensive – the approach of heaven (and the beyond) and earth; of spirit, (mind and) body. Nevertheless Christ is described as coming back as a real being - not only as his power to spiritualize mankind, as some modern groups assume.This is of significance for everyone, not only Christians. The Quran describes the Second Coming of Jesus as witness for his people on "Doomsday". One can conclude from the prophecy of several other religions, that their prophets will also play a role in the same period in one or another way, helping their adherents understand what is going on.
Since this prophecy is complex (see the first chapter "The Revelation of John"), the real development in the world may be more advanced than it seems to people who look at particular details of the prophecy, which are not manifested fully. Other areas show plagues, which are even more "advanced" than those outlined in the Revelation.
Question: Do I want Jesus Christ to appear again clearly, as prophesied, transforming human life and the world?
Addition in scenarios.htm
... - a specifical way on earth towards unity.
The Earth has already helped to carry some of the problems of the universe, too.
Change in "The 1000 years of peace", concerning the "wrong prophet":
(with false/ one-sided ideas about Jesus, or about what is Christian...)
Here we find the spiritual Last Judgement too. The translation of Rev. 20:4 - "... they came to life" does not fully meet the original meaning, that is simply "... they lived", (as it was translated literally for instance in the footnotes of the "Elberfelder Bible"). In the case of the souls this could mean "a coming to life again", but people who did not follow the beast may also continue to live on earth. It would be a misunderstanding to think that all of them have to die.
Additions in "The new earth..."
After the "1000 years of peace" for the judgement of the dead "books were opened" - showing the events, "and ... the book of life" - which shows one's resulting state. Only after the subsequent consuming fire on the newly tempted army and the ejecting of the "devil" into the "fiery lake of burning sulphur" (Revelation, after 19,19-20,3 now in 20:11-15) the New Heaven and the New Earth approach. ...
In God himself the higher unity of everything is already there.
- but not through arbitrary actions of people: human beings are not to play God or the Apocalypse. Man can develop more and more along the lines of God's plan for the world - the Creation Program.
Additions in b/matthewapocalypse (not in the ebooks)
Later addition: in the meantime people like the Watchtower Society noticed this connection too; this is noted here without the usual negative comments about that group or sect, because they worked it out with many details, and the big churches were not very interested in these serious questions. But their theory, this whole message of Matthew 23 & 24 would refer to the old Romans, is false, (...)
Matthew 13:30 and 13:36-43 concerns the development towards a new time too.
Additions in the Final Chapter of the main text "The Christian":
; for instance one can serve God or accept money as one's god.
This might be a new impulse for the ecumenical movement
(Additionally some additional places in bold types)
The table, added to the final chapter of the main text, topics/attitude.htm "A Christian attitude..." , contains supplements and changes.
Additions within "A Christian attitude..." (grey)
Whoever seeks to progress from their own
imperfection to promising qualities - with Jesus as a standard and help -
(compare the pages"...healing" and "...ethics"),
- deal with themselves truthfully, and based on this think about other people ( instead of projecting everything onto others), compare Mt. 5,3 and "A Christian way: digestion of the daily life");
- listen to the impulses of one's conscience, and nevertheless come out of one's shell ( instead of suppressing these impulses), compare Mt. 5,5 and 5,9 ...;
- notice that one is here for others too, although one's physical well-being may be a prerequisite für being able to help others compare Mt. 5,7;
- seek the living Spirit of God, although forms may be useful ( instead of too rigid forms), compare Mt. 6,5-8... and John 4,21-24;
- seek "to be" religious, and behave adequately, ( instead of mere appearances), compare Mt. 5,8;
- have courage, to live according to one's new insights, and consider others as well ( even if these insights are not always appreciated in this world), compare Mt. 5,15;
- be modest and serve others - in spite of new insights ( instead of becoming conceited), compare Mt. 5,19 and Luke 9,48...
...a way to full life and to real spiritual freedom in God.
... This is no indecision – which would keep the apparent contradictions in place as a problem – and so it equally does not mean confusing the two ("flogging something to death"). To keep out of something completely - or to decide for the one or the other, knowing that someone else may just as well choose the opposite - would sometimes be better than indecision too. The third way of thought involves searching for an overriding viewpoint beyond the contradictions instead, facilitating a new, free statement (postulate, affirmation, thesis, decision, establishment) – and thus resolves the problem. (...) This ability of man to increasingly approach the "true light" of God (Joh. 1:9) behind the appearance of the world (...)
Table: "Archetypes (models, symbols) from thr earliest history -elucidated by the Bible- to Jesus, and to the future.
Extra pages, several topics, questions of life (= Part 3)
You may consult Mt 5:9 and 26:52, and Churches' declarations for peace.
***) Nature cries for help. It's time for praying, Lord save us from the 'excited' forces of nature. However, this does not replace a change in the behaviour of man in relation to the rest of the creation.
See Mark 12:30. Prayer involves both the heart-felt belief in the attainment of what is being requested - according to the will of God - and the corresponding thanks. Jesus' words handed down in John 16:23, "My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name", also contained the words "... let the answer surround you" in the old Aramaic texts (cf. Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus). To pray, live and act in the same "spirit" belong together. (The viewpoints published here, although partly new, are not contrary to the manifold prayers practised by the churches.) See the Lord's Prayer, with bible passages etc. concerning prayer too. God can share out the love, given to him, in all churches.
Even a system of ethics that sees itself as "non-religious" or humanistic shows connections to values of religious cultures.
... This is essential for one's destiny, because of the biblical principle of sewing and harvesting (Gal. 6:7; 2 Cor. 9:6). It is the minimum requirement for survival in a society that keeps evolving.
Each individual is responsible for his/her part. Groups with their compulsions and models are also responsible for their part...Especially a formalistic and general legal practice, which would not sufficiently consider the single deeds and motivations, would be viewed as critical, as this would emanate from the thinking of some ancient Pharisees and Sadducees that was most sharply rejected by Jesus.
*) Particularly here the various religions have added many different details. This might help us to understand that not all details are necessarily good for everyone. Additionally - for today's purposes - there has not always been enough distinction between purely religious principles and detailed secular laws. This doesn't mean, however, that beliefs and laws should have big contradictions.
(Gal. 6:7; 2. Cor. 9:6)
Already after the great flood - before the mentioned 10 commandments - according to the biblical tradition there were some basic ethical principles valid for all mankind, beyond the Israelites too:
- the reverence for human life (Gen 9:6), and not to eat meat of living animals. The rabbinic Judaism later derived versions of 7 "Noachian commandments" for Non-Jews:
You shall not murder; you shall not torment animals; you shall not steal; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not worship idols (in spite of the fact, that Non-Jews did not have to worship God like Jews) ; you shall not blaspheme against God; you shall have courts of justice.
In "topics/correction.htm..."A correction of modern commercial "Everything about Jesus disclosure - stories" :
Other authors also joined in the previously mentioned speculation regarding Jesus with many details connected with Jewish history, but without resolving the mentioned contradictions. By reducing Jesus' resurrection in some parts of this literature to a historically tangible, pure resurrection ritual similar to that of the late Egyptian kings and possibly the Essenes and later traditions stemming from it, they withhold from the readers that renewing contribution that Jesus gave in this regard. It would not have damaged the relationships between historical groups such as the Essenes and the Order of the Templars if they had simply done without the anti-resurrection dogma. The purely mystical way of looking at the deeds carried out by Jesus already became lost in early Christian times because it was to difficult for some early Judo-Christian and Gnostic groups to understand and for this reason it is pointless trying to attempt to prove that what they had understood was the complete truth when one takes their beliefs into account. Others understood other parts of the truth, as shown, for instance, by the many early Christians who believed in a more universal significance of the resurrection; and there were also those who used the "paper for discussions" known as the "Gospel of Philip" in this regard. Paul, who was excellently suited to play the "bogey man", was not the only source of those traditions that kept the teachings of the physically and spiritually transforming nature of the Resurrection alive. Those who have some respect for the broadly accepted version handed down through the history of the churches can more easily approach the truth than those who thoughtlessly discard everything that does not agree with their beliefs.
When such activities lead to a continual defamation of Jesus Christ, it can have spiritual consequences that exceed a purely human matter.
3. There was also speculation about several "tombs with bones of Jesus" in Israel and elsewhere too. In the context of Middle East, with grave robbers - e.g. a bone case of such a tomb was stolen -; and where thousands of such cases are stored in museums, and where bones, if there, were given away for second burial, etc. it is almost impossible to get trustworthy recognitions about the persons. So the frequently used names on the cases do not prove anything. Also Probability calculus cannot exclude similarities of names in different families.
Holistic historical research would not start from the assumption, that ressurection in the traditional meaning would not have been possible. Further - instead of taking up prophecy, that can be related to Jesus, only as a source for hopes of Jesus 2000 years ago - today one can take into account, that these inspirations may point to something real, not yet fathomed till it happens.
* 4. There is also more speculation about the life of Jesus, leading to various ideas. See also an update concerning Maria of Magdala. For example, one theory was that Jesus was a follower of the Cynicism school of philosophy, which had its origins in Greece…There was even more speculation: Jesus might have been Moses, or an egyptian Pharao, or Julius Cesar, or a bycantinic imperator(!).
** Strangely enough, these types of books don't mention the fact that a very old Gospel text of the first century was also found at Qumran, which shows, when compared with today's texts, that texts were also handed down quite correctly.
In "topics/eternallife.htm" (not in the ebook):
This knowledge can be a contribution for life: one would deal more with "remaining values" within oneself.
In Christianity the "eternal life" of "the righteous" (e.g. Matthew 25:46); of those who follow Jesus (e.g. Luke 18:29-30), and/or of those who believe in Jesus (e.g. John 3) is not only interesting after death. As far as - with Christ - something within us becomes similar to "Heaven", life in "the future world" changes too, which is also mentioned in some Bible passages.
In topics/destiny.htm "Christianity and its relation to other teachings about karma and reincarnation" (not in the ebook):
The "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) does not only refer to sins in the narrow sense of negative deeds, or sinfulness as a tendency to such deeds. The ancient meaning of the word "sin" - "separation" - is a good translation: everything with a tendency to separate man from God; including negative deeds of others against oneself or sufferings too.
See also Matthew 16:13-14 and 17:12-13, and John 9:2.
**) ...Since 538 decisions were made against teachings in this context, concerning the individual human spirit. But a so named "Council's decision" from 553 was a product of a meeting, handpicked by the Roman emperor Justinian; the Pope, at that time staying in the same town, boycotted that meeting instead of signing the decisions.
In topics/naturalscience.htm "Science and the Belief in God"
In 1998, the Catholic Church issued the encyclical "Fides et Ratio" (Faith and Reason) and Pope Benedict XVI also stressed the topic in a speech in 2006 at Regensburg in the following way: "Belief without reason and reason without belief are worth nothing, because man in his wholeness is missed". Michael Springer writes in "Spektrum der Wissenschaft" ("American Science", German issue) in January 2007, that not every missing piece of knowledge refers automatically to things that cannot be explained scientifically, or to God. This is not, by the way, our intention, but for exact conclusions, see above. He admits that the opinion that science will some day be able to fill the 'gaps' is a belief too. In this case, a lot of effort was obviously necessary to leave the question open as to whether scientists are forced to believe in God. This may not be an atheistic ideology, but rather an agnostic one, implying a missing faith without the specified doctrine that there is no God. And another new concept which only recognised belief in God as providing ethical validation of a material culture, is, in itself, insufficient to meet the above-mentioned criteria.
topics/nourishing.htm "Jesus and human nourishment":
The former Judeo-Christian communities - later most of them were Islamized - were a true part of Early Christianity; in spite of the fact that there were some differences between them and other developing churches.
Religious Fasting shows even more clearly the purification which may lead to more openness to spiritual experiences. This was for instance a Catholic tradition - on Fridays, with reminiscences of Good Friday, and the Shrovetide in the weeks before Good Friday. This practice has not been taken very seriously for a long time, but now its significance has risen again, even beyond the Catholic context. People practise abstinence in many different ways, not only in the narrow sense of fasting. Additionally, they think of the many hungry people in the world. In this context some medieval and more recent Christian and other mystics from the Medieval Age up to our time had the deeper experience of living without food in general - Latin: "inedia". Some people in our own time named it "living on light". This is a hint that the spirit can handle matter better than has been explored in science. (This requires that one knows oneself guided by God, and is accompanied by a competent person to avoid danger. It is not meant as a recommendation to go that way.)
And animals – in the biblical view - are creations of the same God; so they are not "things", as they are often still treated as today (limited by modern laws for the protection of animals.)
Due to health, ethical, environmental and other reasons resulting from increasing awareness, there has been a greater prevalence of whole-food nutrition practices, which have clearly developed through various efforts for more than 100 years now, and which have been recommended by health advisors, among others. (Such nutrition practices include the consumption of whole-grain products – ideally from organic farms – fresh produce, unrefined oils, etc.)
**) Such guidelines are followed still today, for example, by devout Jews when it comes to "kosher" foods (e.g. no pork, no blood, using special rituals for killing other animals).Similarly, the "Halal" food guidelines of Islam avoid pork in particular.
In topics/healing.htm "Jesus Christ and Healing - even today"
Independent from legal issues, the person seeking healing should continue making his own efforts too, such as good nutrition or diet, physiotherapy, and - as far as possible - enough sleep, and praying.
*****) (...) With reference to today’s knowledge, the proven regulatory systems inside a person (beyond one-sided molecular biological perspectives) are essential to the understanding of naturopathic and faith healing efforts. The greater inclusion of such efforts could facilitate the collaboration between different medical trends.
(...) It is then possible to take
care of the other person’s "speck" or what has been done to someone.
In cases where a judgment seems to be necessary – in regard to one’s own actions, or those of someone else – this shouldn’t be undertaken based on appearances but in a "right"/ "just"manner – that is, in a differentiated way and as constructively as possible (Cf. John 7:24).
(new) topics/complaining.htm (lamenting)
(new) topics/purification "A Christian way - digestion of the daily life"
(new) topics/economy.htm : "Christian viewpoints concerning economy and social questions":
(instead of Matthew 23:23) 22:21
However, helpfulness according to Jesus is based on free will. It is not possible to derive concepts of a forced redistribution of property from it. The 9th and 10th commandments are still valid: "You shall not covet ... anything that belongs to your neighbour". In spite of all our endeavours to achieve an improved social situation for many people, our different destinies remain in the hands of God.
In this case it depends on what the property or money is used for (Matthew 6,24: the impossibility to serve mammon and God as well).
The prohibition of interest rates is known from Islam; but Jews and Christians might also find similar advice in the bible (In the Old Testament itself they were prohibitions):
Ezekiel 18:8-9: He, who does not lend at usury, or take interest (other translation: excessive interest); he, who withholds his hands from doing wrong, and judges fairly between man and man; he, who follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws; this man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign Lord.
See also Esra 7:24 (Prohibition of interest, duty and taxes for special occupations);
Some people interpreted traditionally, Proverbs 28:8 would mean, it does not matter, how the money earned from interest rates is used, because the rich ones finally use it for the benefit of the poor or for public welfare. But wherever today much money is used against that values, the presupposition of the verse is not fulfilled. For fulfilling the values of the verse, it is just important, how money is actually used.
Concerning interest rates see also in the New Testament Matthew 23:23 and 17:24.
The first question was, what might be interesting also beyond the context, in which the Old Testament grew. Therefore the differences in Deuteronomy 23,21 are not discussed here.
The bible urges people to avoid getting into debt unnecessarily (Proverbs 22:7); to plan for the future (Proverbs 21:5) and to grow in wisdom and understanding (e.g. Proverbs 4:5-8). People were encouraged to save goods or money. The "tithe" should be saved each year to enable them to travel to religious festivals and to make donations (Deuteronomy 14:22-27). St. Paul called upon Christians to put something aside each week, to be able to give it, if needed, to fellow Christians who had fallen on hard times (1 Cor. 16:1, 2) and advised them to adopt a moderate attitude towards earthly goods (1 Tim. 6:8). Jesus assumes that calculations will be carried out to make sure that there is enough money available, before starting a building project, for example (Luke 14:28). Today sustainable economics is urgently called for, both for therapeutic and preventative reasons. Private, commercial and public debt is the cause of worldwide financial instability. The website Ways of Christ has no political agenda. We only give general viewpoints here.
Renewed chapter "Jesus and peace"
Addition in topics/society.htm: General Christian viewpoints concerning society and politics.
In Matth. 7:5 Jesus does not want us to work on our own weak points only - as some Christian groups seem to believe. We simply should start with our part of the problems, and then - more free than before, without ascribing our problems to others - rebuke or critisize them, where it seems to be necessary. This may concern our friends, or politicians as well.
So independent Christian thinking beyond traditional "left-wing" or "right-wing" thought patterns may be necessary.
(new) topics/philosophy.htm: "Religion and philosophy ..."
***) Annotation: Habermas und other philosophical schools:
Jürgen Habermas - besides Theodor W. Adorno and Herbert Marcuse - belonged to the "Frankfurter Schule" ("Frankfurt School"), - their "critical theory" influenced considerably the students' movement of 1968, and included changed ideas of neomarxist, enlightening and atheistic origin.
Mainly Günter Rohrmoser with his conservative philosophical and -theological view criticized since 1969 the theory and activities of the 1968 movement. He saw their 'utopia' as an "ersatz religion" (a substitute for religion, competing with the Christian doctrine of salvation or 'eschatology'), and tried to preserve the old teachings of 'two kingdoms - religion und state, both wanted by God' - from Augustinus.
The university teachers of the Frankfurt School - and their conservative Christian and economic liberal opponents as well - listed one-sidedly the arguments against each other, describing the opponents sometimes like a united group. So the former ones were not able to ask themselves, if some of the conservative values should be preserved; and the latter ones missed the opportunity to notice a legitimate motivation of the new social movements (beyond the ideological distortions) - which was directed against formalistic authoritarianism -. However, many people in Germany and elsewhere think of this issues now more differentiatedly, because they did no longer accept the old "front lines" of 1968. Nevertheless research did not advance equally - there are still books assigning every evil in the world to the opponents, and ignoring mistakes of their friends.
.Addition in topics/creation.htm :
Concerning "Creationism": our site does not promote any "-ism" or denomination. However, creation of world and man shows indeed rather divine wisdom than mere randomity. See also our page "Science and the Belief in God". Doubts concerning not verified parts of the archeological and geological chronology are permitted too. But those who want additionally the "seven days of creation" to be 7 days with 24 hours as we know them today, should recognize this as a mere interpretation. So faith should not stand and fall with it. Our present "days" are based on the completed earth and its rotation period - which did not exist in the beginning. Already the Bible states: "For God 1000 years are like a day". The "7 days" will mean something real, but 7 eras or cycles without defined length. To look at especially the most complicated processes of creation as the shortest ones, may not match new ongoing discoveries, like many archeological concepts that will be "out" too. In der Bibel we find, that God could already draw attention of men like Henoch and Noah to himself, a long time before Moses. Our Genesis may be handed down from such - real - origins. Parts of this tradition are preserved in scriptures of other cultures too. Theology knows about some similarities to the Sumeric "Epos of Gilgamesh". That does not mean, that the Genesis must stem from the Sumerians; but remember, that Abraham came from Mesopotamia.
* (...) Christians from different orientations address certain issuesrelated to the preservation of creation, including such examples as unborn life and the abuse of genetic engineering and nuclear energy.
**) This could be looked at as a special pan-en-theistic view ("God is in his creation too") - not to be confused with pantheism ("God is everything"). However, the most direct relation between God and his creation is made possible by a human being (cf. John 14:21, 14:23; 15), who is aware of this connection, and who becomes more and more similar to Jesus. Enjoying the creation may lead to God too. But that "mysticism of creation" may lead people astray instead - if God would be only a word for one's own earthly things.
****) The possibilities for developing consciousness are presented in detail in part 1 of our main text, based on the various stages in the life of Jesus. Today, for example, a person can consciously learn - in contrast to earlier, more instinctive means - to again more intensely recognise the relationships with his or her surroundings and the environment and earth. In doing so, he or she can arrive at "interconnected thinking" (a term used by Frederic Vester, though on a different basis) or "multifactorial thinking" (a term used by Dörner for the study of complex ecological relationships), instead of the older "linear" or "monocausal" thinking ("1 cause → 1 effect"), which cannot be applied in this context. See also the following pages: "Consciousness, Brain and the Free Will of Man", "Basics of Ethical Values", "General Christian Viewpoints for Economical and Social Questions", "General Christian Viewpoints for Society and Politics", "Christianity and Philosophy…"
Part 4 The Old Testament and contributions to the dialogue with other religions.
In topics/oldtestament.htm "The Old Testament, the Jewish Religion and Jesus Christ":This additional page is a contribution towards a better understanding of the Old Testament, and the inter-religious dialogue - including deeper spiritual aspects. The books of the Old Testament are not described here as comprehensively as the Gospel and the Acts (Pentecost) in our main texts. Nevertheless, more contributions to this common heritance of Jews and Christians are possible in the future. (...)
At that time, Jesus' work in this form required the background of a belief in God, and the hope for a great change both in Israel and the rest of the world, as predicted by the prophets. However, it has become possible since that time, ...
Apart from the Hebrew bible, the Jewish religion also produced several more scriptures, such as the Talmud with the jurisprudence of the Mischna and the commentaries (Gemara) - these were created both in the versions of Babylon and of Jerusalem. There are severe problems when the corresponding parts of Judaism attempt to apply the 613 laws (Halacha) formalistically, instead of looking at a situation in the light of God’s love, free of prejudices. Handling church law and even secular law schematically, may produce similar problems. There are also basic scriptures of special schools, especially the mystic esoteric books of kabbalism Zohar (Sohar) / Sepher Jezirah. These books are said to have originated in the 13th century; however, they may date back to even older traditions. They are even reminiscent of ancient Egypt. Today, Jewish mysticism exists too .
... Many modern confusing theories would find their solution, if this viewpoint would be noted. It is a phenomenon in many religions, that e.g. people of weak faith , who were full of hate, were not ready to change their opinions through the words of prophets.
The doctrines of God
"The God of Abraham" was experienced as the personal God of the family, the tribe and the people of Israel; and as the God of the universe as well. This belief got its strict monotheistic shape (one God only) in the course of time, repeatedly invoked by the prophets.* (...)
The Messianic belief and Christ
"Christos" is the word for the prophesied "Meshiah", already mentioned in the "Septuaginta", the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, written by Jews for Jews around (about) the 3rd/2nd century BC. So this is no "fiction" of St. Paul, as some modern writers had believed. The scrolls found in the caves near the Dead Sea (Qumran) show that pious Jews in the decades and centuries before Christ had been awaiting a messianic Kingdom of peace, as it is outlined in Jesaja 11; see also Jer. 31, 31-34. But already at that time there were various opinions concerning the nature of the Messiah - just as the disciples of Jesus had difficulties understanding that the new "Kingdom" would not simply be a national rebellion against the Romans, but a spiritual development changing everything - a "Kingdom of Heaven". See the Letter to the Hebrews.
The community of Qumran is often said to have belonged to the Essenic Order, the third school among the Jews of that time besides the Pharisees and the Sadducees. More correctly, it was an independent community, close to the essenic teachings. They had good contacts to all kinds of different schools; not only to the peaceful Essenians, but to independent, militant "Zelotes" too, and to the Pharisees at Jerusalem (who gave them the index of the temple's treasury; obviously the Qumran people were looked on as very trustworthy, in spite of having different opinions.) The "statute of the community" 1QS contained descriptions of the awaited Messiah. They were even awaiting two Messiahs or two family trees of the Messiah. (According to the law of that time, Jesus fitted the description: Joseph from the house of David and Mary from the priestly line of Aaron this point of view was also mentioned by Carsten Peter Thiede, who is working on the scrolls for the Israeli authority for antiquities.)
It seems that the prophecy of Micah 5,1, that the Messiah would come from
Bethlehem, was not noticed or not considered to be important by the
messianic movement of that time. Nevertheless, Matthew, for instance,
mentions this origin of Jesus. Some rashly called this an "invention"
of Matthew, because Jesus was said to have his home at Nazareth, which is far
mystic source Jakob Lorber - who in the 19th century did not have any reason to
disprove such speculations - we read that Jesus came from Bethlehem;. not from
today's Bethlehem, but from an ancient village named Bethlehem near Nazareth.
(See also the annotation in the main text, part 2, "How to deal with prophecies")
Common jointly concepts about Jesus, held by Jewish and Christian theologians.
Many modern Jewish and Christian researchers have come to the following mutual
conclusions concerning Jesus:
- That he was a real historical person, who was born at Nazareth in Galilee, the son of Joseph and Mary and grew up in a house with brothers and sisters.
- That he was baptized by the preacher John the Baptist and after that, felt called to act publicly and in this context built up the Jesus-movement.
- That, as an itinerant preacher, he taught how to pray to the one God and called on the people to repent in the face of the approaching Divine Kingdom.
- That he did many miracles of healing, for instance of people suffering from mental diseases and that he was accepted especially by those less fortunate in the society of the time, such as the poor, women and the sick.
- That he came into conflict with Jewish scholars in Galilee and Jerusalem until being put to death violently by the Romans.
Certain controversial differences of opinion remain between Jews and Christians:
- Whether Jesus was the prophesied Messiah - but there are the Messianic
Jews too, who accept Jesus as their Messiah;
- and how exactly the relation between Jesus and God is.
- How to consider the crucifixion and resurrection.
- How to understand the Christian concept of the more comprehensive "People of God" extending beyond the Jews.
(However, beyond that, there are some Jews and Christians with extreme criticism against each other; but in the interreligious dialogue, they don't play any significant role.)
*) See Hans Küng, Judaism: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow for a study of the development of Judaism from the origin to the tragedy 1933-1945 and the present time. He attempts an integrated research that accepts the contents of the Scriptures as a contextual source, in spite of archaeology and critical theological research, which gives some Christians and Jews pause for thought. (We don’t accept all the consequences resulting from the historico-critical research. For instance, some events surrounding Jesus appear largely to be only subjective experiences. However, Küng is open to an open, not yet explored kind of reality of such experiences.
...Concerning the time before the central Asian flood and the time of the New Testament, see for instance the books of the mystic Jakob Lorber: www.lorber-verlag.de (there are many books translated into English too); and Rudolf Steiner. If one accepts the testimony of Christian mysticism, one can completely forget the theories of some other writers, saying that Jesus would never have existed as a real person, or that he was nothing more than an itinerant preacher.
In topics/islam.htm : "Jesus Christ and the Islam", changes:
This page is a contribution to better understanding and to the interreligious dialogue. (...)
Islam means "Surrender (to the will of God)", also "(religious) devotion".
Angel "Gibril" - sometimes identified with ...
Further traditions ("Sunna", literally: "habit") with sayings/ anecdotes of the Prophet (Hadithes) play a part for the interpretation of the Koran. Even a prophet is, in his personal behaviour, a human being, and no God.
The Koran addresses Christians and Jews sometimes directly as "You people of the scriptures..." (for instance sura 4:171 ) and as "You children of Israel". So they can be interested in what is written in this holy book - in spite of the fact that most of them usually will not deal with it. Religious science anyway studies the scriptures of all religions. However, the Holy books should be studied with respect. One section of the Muslim commentators of the Koran wrote, there is an original Koran - kept by God in a safe place -, accessible only to pure angels and pure prophets; an other section of them interpreted, that the reader of the Koran on earth should be in a pure state. (...)
(for a time in between; or after a certain time...)
In the first centuries of the Islam Christians and Jews have not been forced to convert to Islam - according to the teachings in the Koran, "In religion there is no enforcement", sura 2,256*.
Abraham is looked on as one of the "Hanifes", who found belief in the one God alone, for instance some hermits.
Apart from the Bible, Jesus is also mentioned in the Koran (7th century AD), with some similarities and some differences.
"Non-Believers" (literally: "Coverers") were, in the strict sense, , the polytheistic cults - idolatry, against which Mohammed fought in Arabia and against which the Bible already warned Jews and Christians. Today in a wider sense, Islam looks on those as Non-Believers, who don't believe in the one God and the Last Judgement. Sometimes the term is falsely generalized for all non-Muslims; sometimes even by Muslims for the other schools.
In Romans 1:4 is said, that Jesus became "installed" as Son in his spiritual power - and therefore not born.
Christians might agree with the islamic conviction, that God is unborn and has not "born" but "created" Jesus. Further the Greek term "logos" - in the Bible used for the divine origin or mission of Jesus Christ - became translated in the Gospels as "The Word", which is used for jesus in the Koran. Do the Inspirations of the Koran contain mysteries not yet discovered fully by Muslims or Christians - possibly resulting in useless quarreling about terms? Also where Christians present this teachings in words, which must be understood as some polytheistic religion, this is not according to the teachings of Jesus himself: "Pray to the father (God) in my name (meaning with reference to Jesus" (John. 15:16). I n the life of Jesus everything revolves about the one God, to whom just Jesus can lead people. (...)
... birth of Jesus (suras 2; 3,47 and 3,59; 5* ...).
Moslems and Christians disagree on the question, whether Jesus was crucified, died and overcame death before his ascension to heaven – as Christians say -, or if God has risen him alive into heaven - as Muslims believe. However, both believe, that he was not "dead" at that time when he was risen (the bible for instance states, he spoke to his disciples immediately before he went to heaven.)
Jesus will then come again, and be a witness or a judge for the believing people of the Scriptures (sura 4,159; compare sura 16,89*). (...) According to the Koran and to the Bible as well, the Last Judgement is an act of God, and not of human beings, no matter if they are Christians, Moslems or Jews.
(Such comparisons between the religions do not mean to place doubt on the independence of the Koran.)
In the suras 3:55 and 5:48 it is said, „...I will make him pure" and "...you all will come back to me, and I (God) will decide, what You were in disagreement about". So Christians and Moslems might wait for the solution of some remaining mysteries instead of quarreling. (...)
In today's Islam there is no central authority, which decides religious-ethical questions. However, positions that are shared by a clear majority of reputable scholars (ulama), would probably be widely accepted.
**) Concerning the historical development of the Islam and the different schools see Hans Küng, "Islam. Past, Present and Future", Oneworld, Oxford 2007. (Referencing books of others does not indicate, that this website supports all of their opinions.)
***) Also the medieval "Christian crusades" were not based on the Bible, but human deeds, and (the crusades) have a bad reputation for instance among most of today's european Christians.
Gihad...(literal: "struggle, fight") ...
*); one can compare such "vehement" passages with other passages, which limit them (like "In religion there is no enforcement", sura 2,256).
(and many other small changes).
Buddha in the "Kalama Sutra": "Let yourself not be led..., not by hearsay, ...traditions, ... opinions of the day, ...the authority of holy scriptures, ...mere reason and logical conclusions, fictitious theories and preferred opinions, ...impressions of personal advantages,...the authority of a master. But if You realize yourself...". (Real faith is more similar to recognition & conviction than to an intellectual concept.)
He speaks about the origin of everything, even of the Hindu deities. So, what is he speaking of? (Obviously for Buddha the origin and the goal were unmanifested. However, the unmanifested Nirvana or highest reality is not "nothing". It is simply beyond human imagination. Note: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all know that it is of no use - or even forbidden - to make an image of God. (...)
(...) An explanation of these similarities doesn’t have to be passed down by some exterior source, as some researchers imagine – even if it’s possible that there was a point or two of contact. (...)
After all, it’s inspiration. And if it’s true, then it comes from the eternal source – without which there would be no "something" or "nothing" or "not nothing", etc.; and without which there would be nothing that brought deliverance, since this deliverance itself would be meaningless without it. From that which is behind everything, and is hidden in everything, and yet is also completely outside everything. That which is unmanifested, yet which already contains all things, and which will be even more at the end of creation than at the beginning – something which, in the material sense, is at least as contradictory as a koan (a meditative paradoxical saying, or parable, in Zen Buddhism). Something that cannot be grasped by theoretical means, even if the human mind can gradually be made flexible enough to at least make an indirect approach***** or to process that which has been seen internally. (...)
Among the Christian mystics, Meister Eckhart’s work is closest to the Eastern impersonalism. Among the Buddhist schools of thought, the teachings of Nichiren could appear as a bridge. Among the other Indian philosophers, the work of Sri Aurobindo – with his partner, "The Mother" – is closest to the European personalism or intrinsicism. He experienced Nirvana and recognized – apparently in a way similar to some Christian mystics – that there is something quite different than "nothing" behind the Nirvana experience. He speaks of the "highest" and wants to bring certain aspects of this "highest" down to earth. There are those for whom Sri Aurobindo could be seen as a bridge leading back to Christianity – but to the true essence of Christianity, encompassing real "Christian discipleship" and even the power that Jesus himself displayed in his resurrection.
The "ultimate reality" and the question of God
And here we suddenly find a parallel in Christianity, Judaism and Islam that is not so consciously recognized. All of these religions acknowledge that it is of no use, or even forbidden, to make an image of God – even if the reason behind this has been forgotten. In Judaism, it was not even permitted to directly utter the Hebrew name for God. See also our page "Religion as a ‘reconnection’ of man with God", specifically note 2) on archetypes.
Now when we take a look at the oldest-known "monotheistic" religion – with its earliest precursors dating back many centuries further than the Jewish tradition – namely, the Zoroastrian religion in Central Asia, which we call "the religion of Noah before the flood" (http://www.ways-of-christ.net/topics/parsism.htm), then we still find everything clearly distinguished: "Ahu" as the impersonal, unmanifested but very real divinity, and the more well-known "Ahura Mazda" as the God regarded more as a being through a Cosmic Christ. This is not as widely known, even among today’s Zoroastrians; rather, it was explored mere decades ago by representatives of this religion in India.
We’ve applied this to a certain extent in Christian mysticism, when the "Son" or Logos is seen as the first created being, or the mirror in which God sees himself – just a human term, but one that communicates something very important, something that human language cannot clearly express. Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except by me". This, too, is not usually understood in its fullest sense. (At that time, the God of the Old Testament was experienced more as a "God of the people", in more of a collective sense, and not so much as a personal counterpart of a human individual.)
Rudolf Steiner might be worth mentioning at this point too. He said that Buddha brought teachings about the wisdom of love and that Christ then brought the power of love.
The power of love ultimately draws everything back – or rather, forward – to divine perfection. "Ask the Father in my name" – meaning, in accordance with him, through him, the Christian way leads to the One.
*****) There are also philosophical aspects. In Mahayana Buddhism, Nagarjuna described in his commentary on the Prajnaparamita that something can be looked at as true, or not true, or true and not true, or neither true nor not true – four categories instead of a simple dualistic either/or. Since reason is not capable of understanding this fully, it could lead to a person’s attaining a type of enlightenment beyond this dualistic reasoning, resulting in a view from another level of consciousness. It is similar to the effects of the koans – paradoxical sayings, or parables – of Zen Buddhism (see above). In European philosophy there is another way to expand the mind beyond the old dualistic either/or: Hegel’s dialectics of thesis and antithesis also includes the aspect of synthesis. It enables the mind to be trained to overcome contradictions or apparent contradictions, thus opening itself for the higher truth of God's spirit. Our Christian project has independently developed a similar possibility: different viewpoints may contain parts that are understandable and compatible from the holistic perspective – which fit together (overcoming apparent contradictions [dichotomies]).
Among the schools of Hinduism, the "Vaishnavites" can be looked upon as a monotheist one.
Holy Scriptures: The oldest religious basis is the Vedas, ascribed to the "Rishis" of the "Golden Age". Later, for instance, the epic of the Mahabharata was added, with its description of prehistoric occurrences - often looked on as myths - including wars, and therefore from a not so "golden" era. The wisdom literature of the Upanishads followed. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most important sacred texts of the Hindus, the traditions of which combine the earlier Vedas with the philosophy of the Upanishads and yoga wisdom, and is part of the Mahabharata. Krishna, the hero of this didactic poem, is considered to be the Supreme Being manifesting himself in human form – an avatar (see above).
In this way, dividing all things into two polarities, yin and yang, may keep the mind within these polarities; but a seeker may successfully aspire to go beyond them, into a mystical state of consciousness.
An early Christian Church in China - no longer existing today - "translated" essential contents of Christianity for a taoist context in the 8th century: Martin Palmer, "The Jesus Sutras", Ballantine Wellspring, New York, USA. (As far as books of others are mentioned, "Ways of Christ" does not automatically support all (of) their contents.)
topics/shinto.htm "The japanese Shinto-Religion and general viewpoints concerning natural religions".
(new) topics/religion.htm: "Religion as reconnection with God":
...It is possible to show that this break is one of the meanings of "eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge" in the myth of paradise - so overcoming one's negative ("devilish") qualities will include healing this break.
2 (...) However, the "archetypes" also have a high level of mixed and misleading content. "God" is portrayed as an old man, and references to "heaven" and "hell" become "archetypical" symbols of a "collective unconscious". Jung did not know exactly what this was. At least a core of this level of consciousness appears to exist to a certain extent in all people – with its images and ideas that are impressed upon people. Thus, this emerges as a kind of primal memory from a very early time in the history of humankind – even before such periods as the "mythical consciousness", as presented in our chapter "Consciousness, brain research and free will". This level of consciousness also contains such contrasts (more or less "apparent" contrasts), as addressed on our page "A Christian attitude...a third way". A closer view reveals that this level’s notion of God is a rather problematic caricature. That is why, for example, theTibetan Book of the Dead (BardoThodol) – for which C.G. Jung wrote the preface – warns the living against responding to the deceptive deities and demonic figures of this level after death. A similar writing existed in ancient Egypt. Even Gnostics in the Christian sphere held a critical view of such figures , as they were surely also experienced in dreams and meditation. Fairy tales have attempted to creatively interact with this world of symbolism, which can indeed be useful for children. However, adults may attempt to go beyond these symbols – symbols that have taken on many human aspects. But the real challenge involves seeking God directly, rather than letting him fizzle out with these false concepts of God.
...This does not mean, that all these paths must lead to the same goal. Concerning the similarities and differences see our special pages.
The importance does not primarily lie on "beliefs" - that is, on human thoughts about religion - but rather on a person's connection to God, lived out in a real way.
(new) topics/egypt.htm "Notes on Ancient Egyptian Religion
(new) topics/ancienteurope.htm "Remarks on Early European Religions: Greek, Roman, Germanic, Celtic Religion, etc.
(new) topics/2012.htm "2012: The Mayan Calendar and Christianity"
(new) b/philippus.htm with updates
(new) topics/times.htm Table: "Archetypes" - from the earliest history - elucidated by the Bible - to Jesus, and to the future.
(new) b/pope.htm "Pope John Paul II and the successor Benedict XVI."
(new) topics/news_caricatures.htm "Critical comments: the caricatures showing Prophet Mohammed from danish newspapers.
Additions in reference.htm (Imprint)
See also the Introduction to the main text and the methodical tips.
Many new annotations concerning places in the bible, or the revision of the english translation are not listed here.
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