Who wrote what?

Here’s something I always had a problem with, even way back in my fundie days, although I’d end up thinking the usual “God’s way’s are higher than mine”. I often talk about this still, (and will probably keep bringing it up) and have yet to hear any viable answer to the problem.

But it never went away, and once I’d “deconstructed” enough to see through my confirmation biases, this became a central issue to the entire veracity of the gospel.

Let’s face it, the bible is full of random stuff that should never have been put in there. However, if we claim to be Christian then the words of Jesus are the only thing that matters ultimately. But that implies that the writings of Paul (and lets not forget that at least a third or the letters that bear his name aren’t actually written by him) are really only his personal “revelations”. He never met Jesus, or heard a single word he said. It was all in his head from a mystical experience. So just looking at Jesus is really keeping it simple and pure.

But we do have another problem, just to make it all a bit more confusing.

The gospels are all we have as a record of anything he said, but they aren’t written by eye witnesses (and yes, it’s doubtful that even John was by THE John). They are all assembled from the accounts of one, possibly two, other documents (as far as the latest theories go) that no one has any idea about their historicity. Plus we also have to face the the obvious fact that someone was following Jesus everywhere frantically writing down his every word, on parchment, with ink, in “real time” (so as not to miss any subtle nuances or misquote him). And apparently this guy was even there, in the dark, writing away furiously, while Jesus was praying, on his own, to the Father.

This is no small issue! It goes right the the crux of Christianity. And seriously, if we have no way of verifying that the gospels really are the actual words of Jesus then it’s really nothing more than mythology.

For me, this was one of the key factors for my “leaving the fold”. And as I looked outside the confines of christian theology and doctrines, I found other spiritual and philosophical hypothesis far more rational and capable of making myself and the world a better place.

It’s really become a case of why would I attempt to adhere to a religious belief system that was so flawed from the ground up, creating nearly 2000 years of bitter conflict, endless reassessment, new doctrines, etc, to maintain credibility and relevance.

I keep bringing this whole point up, not in an attempt to undermine anyone’s personal beliefs (although that would be a very real possibility) but to help us all realise that religion in any form is an entirely subjective experience that we create to feel better about ourselves and the world.

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