One last one. I just can’t resist. One final example of how the gospels were put together using pre-existing writing. Mostly it’s Jewish scriptures, but as we saw a couple of posts ago, the gospel writers also lifted from Paul. They’re at it again with the episode that’s become known as the Lord’s Supper.
Here’s its first mention in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, written almost 20 years before the first gospel:
I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was delivered up, took bread and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The first thing to note is that, as Paul tells us in Galatians 1:11-12, his teaching doesn’t come from any human source. It was revealed to him directly by the celestial Christ:
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
So it is in his teaching about the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11: ‘I received from the Lord’. Now you can believe that Paul really was in touch with a resurrected Jesus who supernaturally revealed to him what had taken place the night before he was crucified or you can, more realistically, acknowledged that this revelation took place entirely within Paul’s own head. Having ruminated on it for a while, he came up with a ritual that owed as much to pagan ritual as to Passover celebrations. Rituals of this kind were common in pagan circles where they were frequently used as memorial ceremonies for the dead. Paul tells those who participate – in what, when looked at with fresh eyes, is a bizarre practice – that, ‘as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’ (‘Until he comes’? It’s almost as if Paul doesn’t think his Lord has already appeared on Earth.)
Years later, Mark takes Paul’s idea and quotes it practically word for word in his Jesus narrative.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (Mark 14:22-25)
Mark embellishes the story, drawing a parallel between Jesus and the lamb that is eaten at Passover and adds Judas’ betrayal to fill out Paul’s ambiguous line about Jesus being ‘delivered up’. And as if by magic, Paul’s revelation now has what looks like an historical setting. (It isn’t.)
Matthew and subsequent gospel writers plagiarised Mark’s story and added their own details so that by the time the fourth gospel came to be written, some 40 years after Paul’s original revelation, they had been changed completely. The day of the supper is different, Jesus spends his time washing feet and the original formula – ‘this is my body…’ etc – has been scrapped altogether, evidence that the story was not regarded as immutable. All those who used it felt free to alter it as they saw fit.
Next time Christians take communion, they would do well to remember that they’re taking part in a quasi-pagan ritual, worked up in the brain of a first-century fanatic who imagined he was in touch with a dead apocalyptic preacher turned supernatural being (or vice-versa). At least that same dead preacher hasn’t, as Mark makes him promise, touched a drop of liquor these past 2,000 years.
Post-script: Having written this, I discovered the other day that, in an old post of his, Richard Carrier made this exact same point: https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/15934
I may, I guess, have read his post before, stored it away in my head somewhere and have now unwittingly channelled it here. Whatever, the point still stands.
Aha! So you plagiarised from Carrier did you?
Well,at least it wasn’t revealed to you on the way to the market or some such?
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I didn’t intend to but the patron saint of plagiarisers, Matthew, must’ve made me do it.
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I stumbled upon this site while googling. I read a small article about the author. Then I read a couple of the articles. I noticed how the art at the top of each story mocks Christ. I thought immediately of Psalm 1:
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Note the progression in verse 1. First the blessed man does not WALK in the counsel of the ungodly (the word ungodly actually means someone who doesn’t believe in God. So we are to avoid “walking” in that counsel. But what if we do walk there—what next? The “walker” begins to stop and STAND in the way of sinners. He has now gone from WALKING to STANDING. What next? He goes from “walking” to “standing”, to finally SITTING in the seat of the scornful. And that’s where Neil is now. He’s a mocker of Jesus Christ. I find that to be fascinating–Psalm 1 is SO true.
Good for you.
Let’s see what Jesus Christ has to say about it.
Hmm… nothing at all. Good job you’re here to speak for him.
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No matter how xtians try to “symbolize” it, they are participating in a pagan blood/flesh eating ceremony. At the same time they look down on other cultures that practiced it: Aztecs, etc.
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Jesus had plenty to say about it so not sure what you mean. I don’t need to speak for him–so again, not sure what you mean.
What is your evidence that a man named Jesus ever said anything?
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Lol. Here we go again. There is plenty of proof Jesus existed. And the Gospels are historically accurate as to who was reigning at the time he existed. I’m so tired of these old worn out arguments. No one is as blind as he who REFUSES to see.
I’ve checked back and can’t find any comments from a Jesus Christ. Only some from people like you, Joe, who take it upon themselves to defend him.
That is what I meant; if you can’t understand even this then perhaps you should think twice about commenting. If too you’re tired of the same ‘old worn out arguments’, bear in mind no-one is compelling you to read them.
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There is plenty of proof Jesus existed. By what/whose standards? No doubt you will say the bible, but its validity has been questioned innumerable times … and outside of believers, it has little credibility. So again … what VALID “proof” can you offer that he existed?
I’m tired of the same old claims about the non-existence of Jesus. I don’t need to go into the same rebuttals. I am kind of saddened by myself though. Why don’t I just believe what The Holy Spirit says? People like Neil CANNOT be brought back to repentance. The Holy Spirit says it is IMPOSSIBLE. “For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, if they should fall away, (commit apostasy) to bring them back again to repentance, seeing that they crucify the Son of God afresh”…((Heb. 6:4). I need to just believe God and stay off these sights once and for all.
Maybe if you stopped making unproven claims …
You do know spouting the Bible to those who don’t recognise its authority is futile, don’t you? ‘Fall away’, ‘repentance’, ‘Holy Spirit’ are mere cult jargon.
While I’m inclined to endorse the Spirit’s prompting and encourage you to stay away from sites like mine, I do think you might benefit from looking at your beliefs from a different perspective. Isn’t that why you keep coming back?
That’s not an argument…it’s a question.
What’s the evidence?
We’re NOT claiming there’s no jesus…you’re claiming there IS.
WHAT IS YOUR EVIDENCE THAT JESUS EXISTS?
It’s “site”, not “sight “ BTW
Thank you for the correction. It is “site” not “sight”. Appreciate it.
You need to realize that I used to believe like you. I used to tell people they were going to hell for not believing in my god…then, after studying science and critical thinking, I realized that my views about the world were wrong, and that I had been believing things that were wrong.
Ask yourself this question:
What justification do I have for my beliefs?…
Then, why should I believe you?
I’m trying to help you.
I have noticed every time I read posts on sites like this it is the same old arguments that go in circular reasoning. The people DON’T WANT to believe so they will find any OUT possible for their non-belief. They also say they do not believe in God but then refer to him as though he DOES exist when describing evils in the world that He is “responsible” for.
But as I quoted originally to Neil you have followed the same path Psalm 1 describes: First you begin to “walk” with the ungodly (the word “ungodly” means those who don’t believe God exists) and entertain their beliefs. Secondly you stop “walking” altogether and STAND in the way of sinners (you stop moving forward in the faith) and begin to live as though there is no God. Lastly you SIT in the seat of the scornful. Neil has done this. Look at the artwork that adorns his articles. They fully MOCK Jesus. Neil once walked—then he stopped and stood still—-then he began to sit and scorn what he used to believe. Psalm 1 is very enlightening.
But one thing that I have somehow REFUSED to admit is what the Holy Spirit says about those who wind up like Neil or yourself. You CANNOT bring them back to the faith—it is IMPOSSIBLE. You see, I have stumbled upon these sites thinking there might be a chance one of these who have turned back into unbelief willingly might be convicted and return to the fold. But John tells us this is not so. In 1 John 2:19 he says that the fact that these have willingly chosen apostasy shows they were NEVER one of us to begin with—even though they stomp the ground and say they were once real believers. No—the fact they CAN go to apostasy shows they were never really believers in the first place. A true believer FEARS verses that say it is “IMPOSSIBLE to repent” if you “fall away” and that is because they TRULY BELIEVE.
But the apostate can read such verses as Hebrews 6:4-6 with very little or no effect. They can even laugh and scoff as such verses. They have been deceived by the deceitfulness of sin and a hardened heart into such a place that they can NEVER return because they CANNOT REPENT. 1 John 5 speaks of a “sin unto death” and says that Christians should not pray for such people. Why? Your prayer will have no effect because those people CANNOT and WILL NOT repent. It appears to be a sin that one can “see” a supposed “believer” commit. Is it a public denunciation of Christ? Possibly. We do not know.
Anyway—-here I have spent several paragraphs writing on a site where nothing I say will have any effect whatsoever. And I realize as I did just yesterday that it is due to my unbelief that it truly is IMPOSSIBLE to bring people like yourself back into the fold. What a horrible sadness!! To have come so close to salvation–and then to turn back towards perdition (Heb. 10:38,39). I suppose it is this sadness that always grips me causing me to spend time pleading and arguing with apostates to turn back—WHEN THEY CANNOT—and WILL NOT.
I find myself leaving a very similar message tot he one left did several months ago on another site. Lord, help me to learn and to believe what you say!!
Wow, Joe. Are you a paid preacher??? If not, you’ve missed your calling because you have all the platitudes down pat.
platitudes (plural noun)
a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.
Exactly howt an apostate would label wisdom.
Okay, Joe, you’ve had your chance. If all you’re going to do is preach at people when you come here, I’m going to have to moderate your comments the same way I do Don’s.
They won’t be published if they’re:
It’s up to you: address the issue under discussion and keep to the point if you want to see your name up in lights.
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Thanks. I appreciate your not immediately banning me as another site did several months ago after only 3 posts. But I most likely will not be posting anything more. Thanks for allowing my comments thus far. All the best!
Please stop preaching…those words don’t mean anything to me.
Why are you here?