Daily Archives: 2011-02-03 21:03:51 GMT+0000

Secret violence good, public violence bad

It’s nice to see that the US State Department perceives the United States’ national interests coincide with a public call for the Egyptian presidency (specifically the vice-president) to hold accountable those responsible for the violence pro-Mubarak persons inflicted upon the demonstrators.

It is a pity that it was not apparently deemed to be in U.S. national interests to make similar calls during the past thirty years of Mubarak’s tortures, exiles and executions of dissidents, or his participation in torturing of others in secret rendition progams.

Jesus was not a healer (1)

Jesus heals the paralytic of Bethesda
Image by Nick in exsilio via Flickr

Jesus no more healed people than he was born of a virgin or walked on water or rose from the dead.

The Gospels do not portray Jesus as a physician or literal healer of some sort. They portray him as the Christ, or Messiah, and they introduce stories of healings only in order to portray him as that Christ and spiritual Saviour, not as a greater Asclepius. The Gospel authors did not use raw material from oral tradition or eye-witnesses to any healings. They relied on the Old Testament prophecy that in the messianic age the sick would be healed, the blind see, the cripples walk. And even that Old Testament prophecy was figurative. The healings in the Gospels are just as symbolic as the so-called “nature miracles” of Jesus stilling the storm and walking on water.

(I like the author of Jesus the Healer so I feel a bit awkward about the title of this post, by the way.)

Here is one of the healing prophecies that obliged the Gospel authors to introduce healing narratives into their Gospels: Isaiah 35:3-6 read more »