Only One Verse is Necessary

Here is a verse we should inscribe on our hearts and consciousness.

One verse in one psalm is the lens through which I see all else in — since I am a Christian — the Christian Bible. It is Psalm 82:5b which says, within its context, that, “injustice shakes the foundations of the earth.”

Were all else lost forever from the Christian Bible, that single verse would be more than enough as surviving remnant to start over again from scratch. (Outside and apart from any Christian Bible, that verse can be rephrased to warn that, “injustice threatens the future of human evolution.”) But, in any case, back to Psalm 82.

It does not start with any of that divine bully-pulpit stuff about, “I am the only God—there are no other Gods, etc. etc.” Instead, it imagines the High God seated in heaven surrounded by all the other Gods and Goddesses who run the world. It is like a divine CEO sitting down with Upper Management. And, unfortunately, UP is in serious trouble. Its performance review is an indictment for global malpractice with this bill of particulars:

“God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: ‘How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.’” (82:1-4).

That is clear enough as a judgment of transcendental malpractice. But what follows is surprising.

You expect excuses from those castigated divinities. “We are so busy, so much to do, so many things to take care about.” Instead we get complete incomprehension. We get this: “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk around in darkness” (82:5a). They say, as it were: We handle retribution, we don’t do distribution. Our purpose is power, who brought up this justice stuff?

And that is when we get the key verse. That most clearly and fully expresses my own Christian faith. You expect some anthropomorphic threats about the anger of the High God and the downsizing of Upper Management, Instead, there is only this threnody for a threatened world: “all the foundations of the earth are shaken” (82:5b).

We should write that verse on our hearts and on our consciences. We should inscribe it on our bathroom mirrors so it our first bleary-eyed vision each morning. We should carve it on our domestic programs and on our foreign policies. We should even use it as a criterion when the time comes to choose between political candidates: Do you agree that justice shakes the foundations of the earth? And, if you do, what will you do about it?

 

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  • jbush

    Thank you Dr. Crossan for your insight. Your contributions here are invaluable. Religion divides. These divisions close minds, close ears, close eyes and close hearts. As these divisions close in on us we have no chance of restoring earthly justice and demonstrating compassion. This is especially true from the pandemic exclusivity found in the religious right, evangelical fundamentalists and, in reality, all fundamentalists. To these sad and dangerous factions, justice and compassion even if they vaguely show up on the radar screen, are at best a “by-product” or a “side effect” of their beliefs and faiths rather than the central theme. If anything has become evident after September 11, it is that if we do not find a new way to be human – to treat one another better, we will finally annihilate one another. And in that, our injustice will truly shake the foundations of the earth for the last time.

  • Keith Crossley

    This rather reminds me – reading Winston Churchill’s WWII memoirs about his meeting with Stalin and asking him about the Soviet agricultural upheavals. On Stalin’s reply Churchill thought of and quoted (I cannot remember the name) “If I cannot have reform without injustice, I will not have reform”.

  • Michael

    Prof. Crosson’s piece is such a wonderful breath of fresh air, after the last decade’s evangelical stridency, with its righteous certainty, and its unprincipled support of injustice in the name of God. I think of a number of unschooled self-anointed spokesmen of the evangelical right who piously pronounce on what “bible believing Christians” do and do not support. Invariably, these blowhards always have a marvelous self-justification for their absurd wealth, plucked almost literally from the pockets of their parishioners. They say that they are rich because God has blessed them — implying, of course, that the poor are poor because God has cursed them. They are deaf to the message of this Psalm. Perhaps, in the Psalm, the “upper management” to whom God is speaking are these sanctimonious purveyors of self-aggrandizing twaddle who pass themselves off as spokesmen for true christians.

  • John Dominic Crossan

    Dear Tom & Richmond:

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Anon,Being irritated is far better than being in the Twin Towers on 9/11.

  • M. R. Wilson

    I enclose a copy of Psalm 82 in gift bags for the homeless. John Dominic Crossan is our 21st century prophet. I wish him health, strength and length of days.

  • Bill Lang

    Prof Crossan, you’re pathetic, but definitely not Christian! You sir, are a wolf in sheeps clothing!

  • Richmond T. Stallgiss

    JDC: Thanks for the reply. Perhaps “God is still speaking” through this exchange. Just remember that evangelicals deserve justice as well.Michael: Not sure of your background but there are lots of evangelical Christians and other Christians who reject the vituperance of the haters-who-call-themselves-Christians. Within Christianity, the loudest voices aren’t necessarily the most representative ones. Mother Theresa didn’t issue press releases like Pat Robertson does. Justice is important, but remember that evangelicals deserve justice as wellLang: I rebuke you for saying such hateful things. And now I heart you (

  • BGone

    Professor:Surely you have seen the picture of the universe in your Catholic Bible, “St Joseph Edition.” Your selected verse from the Bible brings that interesting “map of the universe” to mind.The verse: “injustice shakes the foundations of the earth.” Now if the “foundations” being pillars holding up the flat earth are shook hard enough, enough injustice happens then they might crumble. If they crumble then the whole earth would fall into the abyss better known as hell. Injustice must have reached the critical point. The pillars must be crumbling since everything seems to be going to hell.I know. The earth is actually resting on the back of a giant turtle. The turtle isn’t setting on anything, just keeps going and going and going…

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Bgone,Haven’t you heard?The turtle took a serenity break, and the earth now rests on the back of a noisy bunny, who just keeps going and going and going…

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Bgone,Haven’t you heard?The turtle took a serenity break, and the earth now rests on the back of a noisy bunny, who just keeps going and going and going…

  • Thomas J J Altizer

    It is fascinating that this great New Testament scholar, Crossan, should give us a statement on faith centered in the Hebrew Bible, a source largely ignored in his critical work, but that work did give us our most radical understanding of Jesus, and profoundly demonstrated how Jesus actually enacts a profound reversal of the world that itself was fully reversed in subsequent Christian history. Let us rejoice that Crossan’s radical voice will not or cannot die!

  • Anonymous

    “”Love thy neighbor as thyself” works for me as long as the neighbor is not a suicide bomber or terrorist or financier of said terrorism.”In most people, a great sense of self confidence is admirable, but you seem to be most successful at making it laughable (combining it with vain ignorance the way you do)!It is even more laughable that you expect to be taken seriously on any subject when you start a post with arbitrary bigotry!I used to be irritated by your ignorance, now I’m irrritated by how boring it is to even have to scroll past your (sickening and repetitive) garbage!

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Thomas,Can you prove God became one of us?? As per Karen Armstrong, an On Faith Panelist, “We are all Sons and Daughters of God”.

  • Thomas Baum

    To CONCERNED THE CHRISTIAN NOW LIBERATED and the rest of the world: No, I can’t prove that God became one of us but one day we will all know that it is True. I totally agree that we are all sons and daughters of God considering that God created all of us and that there has only been one that not only chose to become a human being but asked permission and that is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, I did not chose to be a human being, did you? I can’t prove that God is real but God proved to me that He is real and that He is a Trinity. Take care, we will all be in the Kingdom since God’s Victory is Total, it is referred to as the mysterious plan of God in revelation, the last book of the bible. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • lepidopteryx

    Norrie,Myb computer is now wide awake, thanks to the fact that I just sprayed it with coffee after reading your post.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Thomas,Words to peruse from James Somerville, Professor Emeritus, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio:1. “The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when.”2. “Religion can bring us to the verge, to the brink, but like Moses, who led his people to the Promised Land, but could not enter in, there is no place for religion in the world to come. Religion is our vehicle for the journey. Once arrived, it will be left at the door.”

  • FRIEND

    “That art thou”

  • Thomas Baum

    Think about it: God is Love and God has a Plan and God has had that Plan since before God created anything. God became one of us and we treated Him rather shabbily to say the least, and He asked of us to “Come follow Me”. Does anyone out there that calls themselves christian see what it means to be a christian in more than name only? Forgive, forgive, forgive; judge not, judge not, judge not; stop condemning, stop condemning, stop condemning. Does any of that sound familiar? Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • BGone

    He is right (Peacetroll)Frustrating isn’t it? hehehehe Like the bunny that keeps hopping and hopping and hopping. The Easter Bunny?The golden rule: He with the gold shall make the rules.Bill Mahaer said that no one from Texas should be allowed to be president.Will the frustration never end? When the last corporate merger rolls the whole thing into one humungus corporation we will be the corporation state better known as communist. But we won’t be Godless. Convents are communists and they aren’t communist so I guess we’ll all be nuns.That should thrill and delight, Concerned The Christian Now Liberated. That’s total liberated? Let freedom ring and ring and ring…

  • Thomas Baum

    To Concerned the Christian now liberated and the rest of the world: I’ve never said that christianity or Judaism were religions, I have said that Judaism is a covenential relationship between God and a people, a people that God chose and formed, and I have said the christianity is a covenential relationship between God and a person. I have also said that God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not religious affiliations or lack thereof. Another thing that I have said is that TRUE RELIGION is taking care of widows and orphans, which basically means everyone. And I repeat God has a Plan, which He has had before creation and His Plan is for everyone to be with Him in the new heavens and the new earth. Take care, see you in the Kingdom. Of course like out Brother, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, told us, night is coming when no man can work, Be Ready. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Paganplace

    Though, on a more serious note, I think the original polytheistic context from which these things are taken is meant to show a king-God modeling good rulership, *for people,* .. not establishing a theological primacy or exclusivity, as a modern mind might be inclined to judge it: particularly not to speak in divisive ways with it, which would seem to be the monotheist triumphalism of the matter. This kind of tale is likely for the benefit of real kings, in the context of a specific culture’s pantheon, (doesn’t seem unlike Mesopotamia, there, ) not as a slam on other people’s religions. Or, for that matter, the roles of other Gods in a polytheistic mindset. There are plenty of signs in the Bible of polytheism involved in the biblical God’s original context, even rivalry between devotees of different figures.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    John 3: 16-18 is a single attestation i.e. only found once in scripture leading to the conclusion that this passage is an embellishment added to impress the locals. -. Jesus to Nicodemus: (1) John 3:11-21. Even Father Raymond Brown, the Catholic NT guru, found its historic accuracy troubling.

  • gary

    the bible doesn’t teach that man or even christians will cure injustice. in fact it teaches that GOD will cure injustice, through his SON JESUS. as christians we are called to emulate HIM. and as JESUS said, if you go somewhere and proclaim the gospel and you are rejected,kick the dust of that place from your feet and move on.

  • Neoconned

    “No peace without justice” eh? Is Crossan the only Jew in Ireland???? He definitely does not have a grasp on true Christian concepts (forgiveness, universal love, sacrifice)….

  • John

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Neoconned,Apparently you have not read any of Professor Crossan’s books. There is a partial list posted at Some suggestions:In Search of Paul, (Harper San Francisco 2004)Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts (Harper San Francisco 2001) The Birth of Christianity (Harper San Francisco 1999) The Jesus Controversy : Perspectives in Conflict (Trinity Pr Intl 1999)Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (Harper San Francisco 1995) In Parables : The Challenge of the Historical Jesus (Polebridge Press 1994)

  • Real Catholic

    John:Thank you for reminding everybody, including Mr. Crossan, that the most important verse would not be the Salm on injustice, or any other secondary issue, but John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth him should not perish but have everlasting life”. Proffesors, Theologians, believers, atheists, all may try to look for other ways, but Christ in the only Way, Truth, and Life.

  • Brambleton

    “A ball-hawking safety thrives on pickoffs and prayers.”Those who know Marty Tadman were well aware of the significance of his endzone celebration when he took a knee and pointed skyward. The senior safety at Boise St. University had been a drug user by the age of 13, a coke addict and heavy drinker by 15, and a marijuana dealer by 16. During Tadman’s official recruiting visit to Boise he made such a negative impression that his scholarship offer was nearly rescinded.It was not until one night the following April, while he was depressed and alone on a beach, wondering why his life was so empty, that he had an epiphany. “God revealed Himself to me,” says Tadman, “and gave me reason to live.” That led to his quitting all intoxicants cold turkey, asking his Jewish mother, Joey, for a Bible and beginning his conversion to a life of piety.”Realistically, if I had never become a Christian”, he says, “I’d have been kicked off the team at Boise State, or ended up in jail, or worse. I had friends who were killed living the same life I lived.”Rich blessings to you Marty.

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    Thomas, As per your reasoning then God permits the birth of severely challenged children. And yet this Trinity is all-merciful, all-good, all-powerful???

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    Evangelical,John 1:12 is also a single attestation. See Ditto for John 14:16. i.e. John of John’s Gospel was the Great Embellisher.

  • David S. Messner

    My favorite verse is from St. John’s Gospel, written as I read it: God IS Love. St. John did not write: God is love, except when he’s angry. He did not write that God is love except when he’s busy dealing out justice. To be sure, those two observations are anthropomorphic in their understanding. Granted. That is all that is available to us, and we have a long way to go before we exemplify even our own anthropomorphic constructs. It is sobering to think about how much human behavior is incompatible with St. John’s insight. For those who find it hard to attribute any specific meaning to St. John’s somewhat Platonic vision, Mother Teresa provided a crucial insight when she said: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

  • David S. Messner

    My favorite verse is from St. John’s Gospel, written as I read it: God IS Love. St. John did not write: God is love, except when he’s angry. He did not write that God is love except when he’s busy dealing out justice. To be sure, those two observations are anthropomorphic in their understanding. Granted. That is all that is available to us, and we have a long way to go before we exemplify even our own anthropomorphic constructs. It is sobering to think about how much human behavior is incompatible with St. John’s insight. For those who find it hard to attribute any specific meaning to St. John’s somewhat Platonic vision, Mother Teresa provided a crucial insight when she said: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

  • David S. Messner

    My favorite verse is from St. John’s Gospel, written as I read it: God IS Love. St. John did not write: God is love, except when he’s angry. He did not write that God is love except when he’s busy dealing out justice. To be sure, those two observations are anthropomorphic in their understanding. Granted. That is all that is available to us, and we have a long way to go before we exemplify even our own anthropomorphic constructs. It is sobering to think about how much human behavior is incompatible with St. John’s insight. For those who find it hard to attribute any specific meaning to St. John’s somewhat Platonic vision, Mother Teresa provided a crucial insight when she said: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

  • HeyYOU

    America is fast becoming a nation of tribes. The tribe that has the most inclusive non combative angel of light like message of love love love is the one that will win the day. But hell is paved with good intentions. The devil came as an angel of light. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has two sides. One side is forgiveness found only in Him, needing NO help from some man made image of a woman who in reality doesn’t exist except in the mind of depraved man. The other side talks about the wrath of God. The choice is yours.

  • Tom Atkinson

    Sir, as a Christian, I believe you got the wrong verse to lead the world with. You leave out and omit what it is all about, Jesus Christ.

  • Thomas Baum

    To Concerned the Christian now liberated and the rest of the world: On your post of 8-16-2007 at 8:52 PM, point number 1 where you said Professor Emeritus James Somerville said, “The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when”, well guess what God being God knew exactly when and where each and every one of us would be born. Has anyone ever noticed how small we tend to think of God whether we believe in God or not? The whole bible is true, those that tend to slice and dice it, do so on their own, one of the things that Jesus said, “Unless you become LIKE little children”, there is a big difference between being child-like and being childish and some of the most learned people seem to know the least, some of the so-called bible scholars may know the words of the bible cover to cover but they sure don’t know didly about God. Another thing that Jesus said, “Simon thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it”, well guess what we are all called to be “rocks”, living stones in the heavenly Jerusalem, not built by human hands, and Jesus said “MY CHURCH”, He did not say it is your church Pete, and then He said, “and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it”, there is the whole MISSION of the CHURCH. Like I have said, God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable, also God is a searcher of hearts and minds not religious affiliations or lack thereof, considering that TRUE RELIGION is taking care of widows and orphans which means everyone. I have noticed that a lot of people that call themselves christians of all or no persuations like to rip out page one: “Let Us make man in Our Image and Likeness”, man meaning humanity, ALL OF HUMANITY. Take care, be ready. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Carlo

    I am baffled by Prof. Crossan’s choice. Has he ever heard of Pelagianism? Does he really think the Bible’s condemnation of injustice can stand by itself outside the context of God’s self-revelation in the history of the Hebrew people and then in the incarnation of Jesus Christ? A minimum of realism about ourselves and observation of human history shows that our problem is precisely that we are, most of the time, incapable of choosing justice above our individual advantage. A generic call to justice without the recognition of the need for God’s grace reveals an amazing theological shallowness on the part of a well-known scholar.

  • Evangelical

    Concerned the Christian Now Liberated.Dr. Crossan also holds positions that are far wilder than most Theologians. Even agmonst “Jesus Seminary” folk he is rather extreme. He does not hold a historical standard in regards to what it means to follow Christ – See Nicene Creed. Unfortunately many who want faith without foundation like his statements.On John 3:16-18 and single attestion. This is a reason to consider other scripture to see if there is consistency and in John’s case there is; John 1:12, john 14:16.Out

  • Allan Popa

    Concerned Christian Now Liberated, I take issue with your assertion that historicity is the only way you read Scripture. I certainly do not believe that John 3:16-18 goes back to the lips of the historical Jesus, in fact, I’m very willing to accept Crossan’s methodology for historicity. But at the same time, the Gospels must be read as Scripture, and as Scripture I think it’s a very valid statement to suggest that Jesus is the son of God who came in the flesh for all humankind to live eternally. I think that is a wonderful, metaphoric statement which summs up the influence and experience of Jesus at the end of the first century in the Johannine community. I think that it was Crossan himself who once said that “history doesn’t negate or replace faith”, both are necessary in the Christian life in the 21st century.

  • Allan Popa

    Concerned Christian Now Liberated, I take issue with your assertion that historicity is the only way you read Scripture. I certainly do not believe that John 3:16-18 goes back to the lips of the historical Jesus, in fact, I’m very willing to accept Crossan’s methodology for historicity. But at the same time, the Gospels must be read as Scripture, and as Scripture I think it’s a very valid statement to suggest that Jesus is the son of God who came in the flesh for all humankind to live eternally. I think that is a wonderful, metaphoric statement which summs up the influence and experience of Jesus at the end of the first century in the Johannine community. I think that it was Crossan himself who once said that “history doesn’t negate or replace faith”, both are necessary in the Christian life in the 21st century.

  • Allan Popa

    Concerned Christian Now Liberated, I take issue with your assertion that historicity is the only way you read Scripture. I certainly do not believe that John 3:16-18 goes back to the lips of the historical Jesus, in fact, I’m very willing to accept Crossan’s methodology for historicity. But at the same time, the Gospels must be read as Scripture, and as Scripture I think it’s a very valid statement to suggest that Jesus is the son of God who came in the flesh for all humankind to live eternally. I think that is a wonderful, metaphoric statement which summs up the influence and experience of Jesus at the end of the first century in the Johannine community. I think that it was Crossan himself who once said that “history doesn’t negate or replace faith”, both are necessary in the Christian life in the 21st century.

  • Allan Popa

    Concerned Christian Now Liberated, I take issue with your assertion that historicity is the only way you read Scripture. I certainly do not believe that John 3:16-18 goes back to the lips of the historical Jesus, in fact, I’m very willing to accept Crossan’s methodology for historicity. But at the same time, the Gospels must be read as Scripture, and as Scripture I think it’s a very valid statement to suggest that Jesus is the son of God who came in the flesh for all humankind to live eternally. I think that is a wonderful, metaphoric statement which summs up the influence and experience of Jesus at the end of the first century in the Johannine community. I think that it was Crossan himself who once said that “history doesn’t negate or replace faith”, both are necessary in the Christian life in the 21st century.

  • Allan Popa

    Concerned Christian Now Liberated, I take issue with your assertion that historicity is the only way you read Scripture. I certainly do not believe that John 3:16-18 goes back to the lips of the historical Jesus, in fact, I’m very willing to accept Crossan’s methodology for historicity. But at the same time, the Gospels must be read as Scripture, and as Scripture I think it’s a very valid statement to suggest that Jesus is the son of God who came in the flesh for all humankind to live eternally. I think that is a wonderful, metaphoric statement which summs up the influence and experience of Jesus at the end of the first century in the Johannine community. I think that it was Crossan himself who once said that “history doesn’t negate or replace faith”, both are necessary in the Christian life in the 21st century.Allan.

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    Allan,You noted a quote by Professor Crossan i.e. “history doesn’t negate or replace faith”. Reference to the quote and the sentences before and after said quote?????I would add to the quote “as long as you understand the history of the faith”.

  • Thomas Baum

    The passage in scripture that is referred to as The Lord’s Prayer and also the Our Father: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven, give us this day our daily Bread, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. OUR FATHER, as in the Father of the entire human race considering that not only did He create everyone but also everything. WHO ART IN HEAVEN, not only is He in Heaven but He is also putting the finishing touches on the Heavenly Jerusalem not to be confused with the New Jerusalem which is going to go down the tubes just like the Old Jerusalem only more so. HALLOWED BE THY NAME, actually God is Pure Love but from so many of the posts that call themselves christians, you would never know. THY KINGDOM COME, God’s Kingdom which will be a Kingdom of Pure Love and it is for all of His children which is ALL OF HUMANITY. THY WILL BE DONE, Like it says in many places in the bible, it is God’s Will that ALL BE SAVED, also if all that someone calling themself a christian, cares about is going to the “good place” , how christian is that, considering that on the cross Jesus said, “Father forgive them”, there is not an asterick after them, them means ALL OF HUMANITY, we have all done wrong at least I have. ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, as it says even the forces of evil, satan and his cohorts, are working toward the Will of God even if inadvertantly, besides being a liar and a thief, the deceiver is also a loser. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD, this refers not only to that which sustains us physically but also the Eucharist which is the BREAD OF LIFE. FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US, this is a divine equation, pure and simple, Jesus told us as much. AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, satan is the tempter and like it says when we fall which we all seem to do at times at least I have we can ask for forgiveness, we can go directly to God for forgiveness, the curtain in front of the Holy of Holies has been torn in two, yes the one that so many people are trying to sew back together. BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE, yes satan and his cohorts are real and in God’s Plan, All of Humanity will be delivered from all evil that is why we are to be willing and active participants in God’s Plan whatever we may have been called or chosen to do. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Thomas Baum

    To Concerned the christian now liberated: You are invited, of course I don’t know when it will be but don’t worry you’ll know. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Thomas,Please invite us to your next meeting with the Trinity and/or Singularity.

  • FRIEND

    To those who love Jesus:That art thou.

  • Anonymous

    Darn Thomas. I’ve been envisioning you sitting with them at a Starbucks.

  • Thomas Baum

    To Concerned the christian now liberatedk: I’ve never said that I saw God, the Trinity, I said that I met God, the Trinity. I never saw satan either but I did have an encounter with him and he is not nice at all. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Thomas,Not really since gods, “pwtffts” and demons of the demented are only seen during drug induced stupors or in caves or on mountains while fasting.

  • Allan Popa

    Concerned Christian Now Liberated, typical, again!You refuse to look at meaning and question only the fact, the insignificant. I wasn’t quoting Crossan, I was saying what I read once from Crossan, I do believe it was a debate between himself and another scholar.When people heard the Gospel’s in the early centuries, what ran through their minds was not “Did it really happen?”, “Prove it!” or “Bull****!” They heard the stories and they got the point. They heard the proclamation of Jesus and they got the message.It does not make you a critical Christian to question the validity of every theological statement based purely on historical validity. Most statements were never maid to be historical statements, rather theological ones.For instance, “Jesus was born of a Virgin by the Holy Spirit, prophecied by the prophet Isaiah” does not literally mean that first Isaiah had a vision of baby Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem having been born of a virgin. The story written around this in Matthew must be read in the religiopolitical climate of the first century. Jesus is the fulfilement of the Jewish Scriptures, this was a major theme of Matthew, it’s obviously not literally true, but it is a very true way of seeing Jesus in light of Jewish religion. Jesus is born of a Virgin as Messiah, this places Jesus in the light of the previous religiopolitical heroes of ancient Israel who were born through baron women, and in the light of the religiopolitical heroes of the Greco-Roman world who were born through divine impregnation. Did it actually happen? Probably not. Is it a symbolic story which conveys a very powerful message? Yes, absolutely!Please think for yourself. Crossan is a wonderful scholar, his historical reconstruction is unparallel, but I’m sure Crossan would not want you placing everything you see or hear against everything he says as if his own word governed the validity of the Judeo-Christian religion.Allan