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10733Re: [GTh] Re: New Op-ed Piece on my Site

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  • Tom Reynolds
    Nov 23, 2013
      I agree that we can't know Jesus's actual words but I do think we can say, within limits, what he did not say.
      An example from yesterday.
      "Where were you 50 years ago today?" was an often asked question, yesterday, September 22, for Americans of my generation. We all remember. Typically, however, this discussion evolves into a 'Remembering Jack Kennedy' journey into the past. Most of us remember the Kennedy-Nixon debates, the Bay of Pigs, various speeches and, of course his death and funeral.
      There is suprisingly little disagreement about the major events. Yes people disagree if Lee Harvy Oswald acted alone, if there were one bullet or three or if he had an affair with Marilyn Monroe. However, nobody would quote Kennedy as saying "Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you." because quite simply Kennedy said quite the opposite and everybody knows it.
      The life of Kennedy is still in the eyewitness period. An author writing about Kennedy is constrained by the memory of those who remember, who know. However much Democrats in 2013 want to turn Kennedy into a liberal, they cannot turn his words around to make them say the opposite of what he actually said.
      Therefore I conclude that Matthew's and Mark's intrepretation of this parable is correct. Everybody agrees that these books were within the eyewitness period. The words Matthew and Mark could put into Jesus's mouth were limited by the living eyewitnesses and the oral tradition.
      However, move a generation or two later and the situation changes. A few days earlier, President Obama, in quoting the Gettysburg Address, removed the words "under God"  from the last line: "-- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Not many noticed this politically correct redaction. True, the actual words are easily obtainable but few bothered.
      From: Judy Redman
      To: "gthomas@yahoogroups.com"
      Sent: Friday, November 22, 2013 1:31 PM
      Subject: RE: [GTh] Re: New Op-ed Piece on my Site
      I suspect that Ian is saying that he doesn’t care what Jesus was trying to convey precisely because he is interested in what the human author is representing Jesus as having said. J
      I think that trying to get back to the original/actual words of Jesus by using the texts that we have is a hopeless task unless you are prepared to believe that God somehow worked to guarantee that what Jesus said was recorded accurately. All we have is what people remembered him as saying and passed on to others – a method of recording that is subject to all sorts of changes.
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