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Old 06-10-2019, 08:17 PM
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Religion based only what Jesus said


I was having a discussion with someone the other day, and I used some quotes from the Bible, and the response was "Jesus didn't say that"

Got me to thinking, are there any religions that are based on only what Jesus said in the Bible?
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:57 PM
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I was having a discussion with someone the other day, and I used some quotes from the Bible, and the response was "Jesus didn't say that"

Got me to thinking, are there any religions that are based on only what Jesus said in the Bible?
Not so far as I know. Nor would I expect to find one. If you think about it, "what Jesus said" is unimportant unless you believe that Jesus had some special position or authority and, while you can appeal to the bible in support of that proposition, much of the material you'd be appealing to is not accounts of what Jesus said. If you disregard accounts of Jesus's life, deeds, death and resurrection, what reason have you got to pay any particular attention to what Jesus is noted as having said?
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:25 PM
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Got me to thinking, are there any religions that are based on only what Jesus said in the Bible?
It's not that, really, but there is a Christian movement, "Red Letter Christians," that emphasizes the teachings of Jesus (so-called because in some old Bibles, the words of Jesus are printed in red ink).

And I see that the "See also" section of that Wikipedia article contains a link to "Jesusism," which may be along the lines of what you're looking for.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:30 PM
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Thomas Jefferson went through the Bible, to cut out all miracles and condense the gospels to the "authentic" Jesus.

How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible
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In fact, Jefferson was devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ. But he didn’t always agree with how they were interpreted by biblical sources, including the writers of the four Gospels, whom he considered to be untrustworthy correspondents. So Jefferson created his own gospel by taking a sharp instrument, perhaps a penknife, to existing copies of the New Testament and pasting up his own account of Christ’s philosophy, distinguishing it from what he called “the corruption of schismatizing followers.”
It didn't go any farther than him, although others could have done something similar.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Thomas Jefferson went through the Bible, to cut out all miracles and condense the gospels to the "authentic" Jesus.

How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible


It didn't go any farther than him, although others could have done something similar.
Well, except that the Jefferson Bible isn't composed of only "what Jesus said" -- it's the material from the four evangelists stripped of what Jefferson thought fanciful and unlikely (even if Jesus said it) and assembled in chronological order.

The current edition (I picked one up at the Smithsonian last year) is a beautiful photoreproduction, with a binding that's identical to the binding of the original. If you strip off the protective plastic dust jacket (which has all the usual jacket material), you could put it right on a bookshelf among a bunch of early 19th century books and the only way it would stand out was by looking new new and unused. I've read it twice.




Regarding the OP's premise -- I don't know of any religion that's based only o the words of the founder. In the cases of most religions, it's a combination of the writings they have and a whole host of traditions and thins based on supporting and even apocryphal texts. It's practically impossible to "reconstruct" religions even from their sacred texts, because there's so much missing from the texts filled in by that tradition. Some aspects of religions even contradict parts of their sacred texts.


A religion based solely upon the words of Jesus* (and nothing else in the existing Evangelists) would be a very different thing. You run into trouble right away with Matthew 16:28 "Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Taken in a straightforward and literal sense, this implies that the Son of Man already came about 2000 years ago. To many, this means that the Apocalypse has already come.






*and which words? Which texts do you take as canonical? There are significant differences between the three Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and the Fourth Gospel of John. Do you reject John? How about the Gospel of Thomas? Or the infancy narratives, or...well, you se the point.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:04 AM
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*and which words? Which texts do you take as canonical? There are significant differences between the three Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and the Fourth Gospel of John. Do you reject John? How about the Gospel of Thomas? Or the infancy narratives, or...well, you se the point.
Thanks everyone for responding. Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?

(I understand that they were written years later and whatnot)

And this: "The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada"

I would think that would be sort of the point.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:38 AM
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Thanks everyone for responding. Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?
Those gospels are pretty short books, you could read them yourself in a couple of hours.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:25 AM
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Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?
There's quite a bit of overlap among the first three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke, called the "synoptic" gospels), though there's also material that only appears in one or two of them, and there are sometimes slight differences even when the same material appears in more than one of them.

There's not much overlap between the words of Jesus in the gospel of John and the synoptic gospels.

For more info, see the Staff Report Who wrote the Bible? Part 4 – Who wrote/compiled/edited (and when) the various New Testament Books?
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:15 PM
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Thanks everyone for responding. Regarding this, are the actual words of Jesus that much different between the Gospels?
As Thudlow says, there's a good deal of common material between the three synoptic gospels, whereas John is a different kettle of fish. In John, Jesus's teachings are presented in a serious of long discourses which are unlikely to have been speeches actually given by Jesus (or to have been understood by the readership as speeches actually given by Jesus) but instead are a theologically-formed synthesis of the teachings of Jesus. Which raises the question; if you're going to base your religion only on what Jesus said, do you confine that to (purported) reports of direct speech only?

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And this: "The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada"

I would think that would be sort of the point.
That's only a problem if you take an absurdly simplistic approach and thnk that the only signficance Jesus' words (or indeed anybody's words) can have is their immediate surface meaning. On this view, for example, if Jesus says something about swords, that refers only to swords but has nothing to tell us about guns or about violence or about the use of force or the assertion of power in general. Or, Jesus's teachings about adultery cannot be used to draw any conclusions about fidelity, or loyalty, or commitment more generally.

But this is absurd. Much of Jesus' recorded speech is in parables, where the whole point is that you are to draw a lesson of general application from a (fictional) story about specific people and circumstances by looking beyond a simplistic interpretation.

So, Jesus may have said nothing about moral issue X or Y, but that doesn't mean that what Jesus did say can't be critically interrogated to derive principles and values which could illuminate moral issues X or Y. A religion based on such a reading of what Jesus said is still based on what Jesus said.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:34 PM
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The problem I think they'd run into is that there's a LOT that Jesus didn't say anything about...

Homosexuality? Nothin'. Masturbation? Nope. Priests, church services, hymns? Nada.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:53 PM
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Also keep in mind that a lot of the gospels are writer embellishments and redactions long after the fact, to conform to the orthodoxy of the day. Whole "gospels" are dismissed as apocrypha because of doubtful authenticity and because they contradicted to dominant dogma at the time of the consolidation of church teachings around the Nicaean council. (Plus, many other works over the years were "updated" - consider that the reference to Jesus in the works of Josephus is generally believed to have been altered to suggest Josephus affirmed Jesus' divinity.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:10 AM
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Also keep in mind that a lot of the gospels are writer embellishments and redactions long after the fact, to conform to the orthodoxy of the day. Whole "gospels" are dismissed as apocrypha because of doubtful authenticity and because they contradicted to dominant dogma at the time of the consolidation of church teachings around the Nicaean council. (Plus, many other works over the years were "updated" - consider that the reference to Jesus in the works of Josephus is generally believed to have been altered to suggest Josephus affirmed Jesus' divinity.
Well, not very long after and there were still plenty of living people around who could say "that aint so". In fact John dictated most of the Gospel ascribed by him, altho admitted at a very old age.

Yes, one of the TWO Josephus quotes is assumed to have been altered. But not the other.


Most of the gospels not accepted were either copies or very late. The council at Nicea didnt discuss which Gospels were canon, that had mostly been discussed much earlier, before any dogma had set in. By the time of Irenaeus, c. 130 – c. 202ad , they had already decided which Gospels were canon, altho some later Letters of Paul, etc were still being debated. John the Apostle was said to have lived until AD100. Pretty much there was never any argument which Gospels were canon.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_...Biblical_canon
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:50 AM
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The faith that Jesus taught and showed us was called 'the way'. Paul started Christianity, which was apparently Paul's way to do his divine mission, which was to get the name of Jesus known to the gentiles. There are great differences and contradictions between the two, as Paul seemed to mix what he knew as Saul (his former name) who was a jewish pharisee, with the gift of Grace that Jesus taught.

But as I see it when a person, coming through Christianity, finds the way, the 'religion' is then discarded, and the relationship with God, and your life plan path is revealed, is what is left. There is no need or room for religion. The best I can come up with as a definition is Follower or Disciple of Lord Jesus, where one is guided and instructed by the Holy Spirit, and can hear and recognize the voice of God through whatever way God wants to speak (thus no need for religion, as this person has a direct line to God and is God's child - Jesus)

Last edited by kanicbird; 06-11-2019 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:16 AM
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Paul started Christianity
False.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:12 AM
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A little light reading.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:35 PM
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A little light reading.
Hey, cool. Thanks for that.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:54 PM
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'Only what Jesus said' is hard to define in two ways.

The first isn't so hard. You could take it to mean not literally what's objectively known to have been said without reference to the Gospels, and just take it as what's attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. That may seem obvious but not 100% since sometimes people argue about what Biblical scholars think is more/less likely to have been said or added later. I assume a religion based on 'only on what Jesus said' defines that as 'all that is attributed to Jesus in the Gospels'.

The second is harder if you accept the first solution. Which is that the Gospels as written are full of references to the Jewish scriptures as foreshadowing Jesus and Jesus as a supremely knowledgeable teacher and interpreter of Jewish scripture (as it then existed). Major Christian sects (Roman Catholicism for example) emphasize all that was written in the Old Testament much less than some relatively smaller but high profile sects in the US do (literalist Evangelical Protestants). But it would still be a lot harder to remove the Old Testament entirely from Christianity than to remove New Testament writings other than the Gospels. Some religion could go back and change the judgments of the Roman era Church as to what was really scripture among all the writings vying for that label at the time, and kick Paul's writings out. Because, obviously, the Gospels don't refer to Paul. It's a lot harder to have a meaningful religion based on the Gospels that entirely ignores the OT.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:57 PM
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'Only what Jesus said' is hard to define in two ways.

The first isn't so hard. You could take it to mean not literally what's objectively known to have been said without reference to the Gospels, and just take it as what's attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. That may seem obvious but not 100% since sometimes people argue about what Biblical scholars think is more/less likely to have been said or added later. I assume a religion based on 'only on what Jesus said' defines that as 'all that is attributed to Jesus in the Gospels'.
Yes, I was thinking this one.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:17 AM
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Sure are. That's why people have been killing each other over religious matters for millennia now.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:07 AM
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As I understand it - after he had his "stroke" on the way to Damascus, Paul went around claiming to be an apostle too and preaching a version of Christianity very different from the flavour the original followers of Jesus (led by his brother James) tried to preach to Jews from Jerusalem. After assorted confrontations, and epistles where Paul tells his followers not to listen to those people (embellished with interesting name-calling) in Jerusalem, where is hijacked during a visit to Jerusalem and forced to undergo ritual cleansing, the two sides come to an agreement. Paul will not try to corrupt Jews, the real target of the "real" Christians; in return, he was free to make up whatever he wanted and tell it to the gentiles.

In the end, the temple was wiped out along with much of the Jerusalem community, and Paul's widespread ministries became the dominant flavour of Christianity.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:01 AM
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and preaching a version of Christianity very different from the flavour the original followers of Jesus (led by his brother James) tried to preach to Jews from Jerusalem.
Do you have a cite for this?
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