During the holidays, i noticed that my cable company provided one history channel for free thats normally for paying customers. I managed to record 1 hour document about Jesus family relations.
Document covered the topic of Jesus family from perspective of how things where during that time and how the change happened from Judeo Christian religion to just christian faith as things are now. I guess most of the parts in the document where part of book and thesis by James Tabor, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlott. He has released a book called Jesus Dynasty which covers this same topic. James was also interviewed for this document.
From point of view as rastafari this document had some really interesting thoughts. Im not personally educated on historical matters so i cant vouch them to be accurate but it gave me some thoughts to reason about.
But lets recap some basic dogmas that are "rampart" in rasta movement before i go on to the actual document and thoughts it raised on me. Notice thou that im not saying that these are not my views, they are just some topics that i've noticed from time to time in various reasonings.
- Paul is devil
- Bible has been tampered.
- Rasta is closer to early church than modern christianity.
This early movement, while already working towards establishing christian church, did not really see Jesus as God or Divine and they also still had the connection to the jewish traditions and wanted to uphold those to some degree. After James' death, Peter, who was also blood relative of Jesus, took over the church. And this was a group of people who actually lived and talked and where relatives to the Christ - as it was pointed out over and over again in the document. =)
However, after Jesus' death and during the first jewish roman war, things got abit bad for people who claimed jewish heritage. Alot of gentiles where already converted to this new religion and Paul was to take over the this new church. This is the point where things got to really thought provoking level.
Paul, who wasnt a Jewish and with already a mass of followers had started to teach that Jesus was Divine and God himself. Having ideas that Christ would have earthly family was an idea that didnt suite Paul's visions as the teachings of early church where "dangerous" to this new christian movement as per their interpretation, Jesus was God's servant.
This led to marginalization of earlier teachings from members of Jesus' own family in favour of Paul's own teachings. Example of this is given in form of how John the Baptist is portrait in the new testament. From oldest to newest,
his role in Jesus life is dimished and family not mentioned at all. Also, as James really was first bishop of Jerusalem and first leader of christian movement, mostly this place or fame is reserved for Paul and his followers.
So, back to how i see these themes fit into Rastafari movement. Early on, as a young bible studier, i forced myself into thinking that Paul was contradicting alot what i read about teachings of Jesus, hence the first case, Paul is Devil. Paul's actions lead to christian religion as we see it today, where Jesus is held as God, where as for me, he has always been more of a propet or a servant of God. Mainly due that he never tells people to worship him, but only his Father. These views of Paul are portrayed thru-out the modern new testament. Hence covering the tampering of the bible (i do acknowledge that bible wasnt written during the times of Jesus, im just referring to this idea that Paul and his followers influenced the view how people should see Jesus).
And last, Rasta is closer to early church. Well this is abit trickier to explain since rasta as a whole movement doesnt always rally around bible teachings but atleast all the topics covered in the document where ideas that i've already accepted as my personal truths about Jesus & God on my "journey" as a rastaman.
Document didnt really leave me with any solid conclusions and i doupt this blogpost will do the same to you. But for a reasoning, its important to get new views and portray the current views in new light to verify how they fare.
Thats all for now.
Give thanks for the I Sister Nina who send me invitation for a gathering on the coming weekend. Can't make it this time but my love goes out to all those who gather in InIty! Love.