A Revolutionary Radical Jesus In The Gospels

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A Revolutionary Radical: Jesus In The Gospels Essay, Research Paper A Revolutionary Radical: Jesus in the Gospels Libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. – CAESAR Jesus might have existed as a mortal, but it is unlikely that he existed as the Holy Son of God. Since most of the writings about him were written decades after his death it is more likely that his legend was used as political propaganda. This leaves us today with many difficult if not impossible to answer questions. If Jesus died because he was a radical revolutionary and not because he was the Son of God, why do so many believe in the latter? Why are there four distinctly different views of the Christ figure presented in the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John? Why is there not one all inclusive Gospel? It

is my contention that those questions can be tied together in order to be answered. There is not one omnipotent Gospel because each of the individual Gospels are meant to draw in a different type of sheep to the fold. By looking at each of the Gospels separately as articles of political propaganda we can discern why so many people were convinced of the existence of the Holy Christ figure. The man Jesus lived in a time of social turmoil. Within this social climate the poor, impoverished and disposed Jews created a radical faction that aimed to break away from the Jewish mainstream. This group of zealots were seen as radical revolutionaries and terrorists. The character Jesus was not only a card carrying member but a leader. So after his death and the Christians had established

themselves they, like the early Hebrews, needed a heroic figure for their history. This serves various cultural needs, but does not need to be historically accurate. Thus the legend of Jesus was born. Much like the historical figure of George Washington has been embellished by fictional tales as America grew and needed a historical icon. Like the creation of God, man created Jesus in his own image. Thus the character of Jesus has many of the imperfections and faults of mortal humans. This provides a more believable Jesus and with the four different versions of Jesus it can be seen why this character became so popular. The image of Christ in the Gospel of Mark is clearly intended for a non-Jewish audience. Moreover, it is intended for poor, down trodden city dwellers. This work is

to sweep the uneducated masses into the tide of revolution. The story has parallels to Greek and Roman mythology, so as to allow the audience to draw parallels to stories that they already know, thus giving a better understanding to the listener and making the story more powerful and personable. The simple style in which Mark is written is very reminiscent of today s romance novels. This gospel was meant to be read to those who couldn t for themselves or to be read by those who have rudimentary reading abilities. The story has almost non-stop action, so as to gain attention and keep the audiences interest. The swine story is one such passage. It may also have served as a comic interlude, giving the audience a chance to laugh and be drawn in to the story even more. Some may argue

that such comedic scene has no place in holy scripture. However, when one looks at the writing as a work of political propaganda, the use of comedy for this target audience makes perfect sense. These were people that were used to seeing street shows and occasionally attending tragedies and comedies at the local amphitheater. This type of story is what they want. If one is to gain the support of a specific audience, one must give the people what they want. A parallel to Greek and Roman mythology is given with the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan, much like the story of Achilles, who was given special powers because of his pseudo-baptism in the river Stix. Much of the setting is familiar to the lives of the audience members as well. When Jesus is shown having to move amongst a