From: Marilyn Burge
To: Jesse C. Jones
Subject: Disciples of Christ [sic]
On (20 Jun 93) Jesse C. Jones wrote to Marilyn Burge...
JC> -=> Quoting Marilyn Burge to Jesse C. Jones <=-
JC> MB> Some anthropologists think that the
JC> MB> Twelve Disciples are nothing more than the twelve signs of the
JC> More likely they correspond to the twelve tribes of Israel. My own
JC> pet theory is that "the twelve" is a fictional creation to cover the
JC> fact that there were _women_ in the inner circle!
I have read lots of opinions regarding the origin of names, events,
etc. in the Bible. There are as many theories as their are people with
imaginations who have applied those imaginations to the question.
Ancient Egyptian religions are ripe for the picking in this regard, if
for no other reason than that they predate Christianity by millennia.
Jesus could very well be a corruption of the word "Isis." The Twelve
Diciples could very well be related to the Signs of the Zodiac, which
is part of ancient beliefs.
The flood myth has been told again and again by tribes older than the
Jews. Some of the earlier renditions are:
Culture Hero Warned by
Hebrew Noah God
Babylonian Utnapishtim Ea
Persian Yima Ahura Mazda
Hindu Vaivasvata Vishnu's Avatar
Chaldean Xesuthras Chinos
Greek Deucalion Prometheus
Ostyaks Pairachta Turin
Votyaks Noj Inmer
Mexican Nata Titlachuhuan
Algonquin ---- Glooscap
Choctaw ---- The Great Spirit
As you can see, mythology tends to be worldwide and not be a respector
of time or place. Wherever a people have been inundated, they have
developed a flood myth to tell their children and grandchildren what
happened on that fateful day. From the perspective of those telling
the story, the entire world was flooded (at least the portion of it
that they are aware of). The story of Noah is no different in this
regard. Those who take the story literally are missing the point of
the story, and missing what scripture is trying to tell them.
It doesn't matter if every word in the Bible is a myth, lie, allegory,
or whatever. That has nothing to do with whether there is or not not
a god. All it would mean if the entire book was fiction is that we
would have no direct knowledge of the Mind of God. Would that be so
terrible? Not really. If we live loving lives, we benefit and the
rest of humanity benefits, so what have we got to lose?
Tenaciously hanging onto the literalness of scripture is nothing more
than a subliminal grasping at faith that is so tenuous that it will
not stand the revelation of one erroneous or illiteral word being
contained between the covers of the book. If faith hangs on every
word being exactly true in the literal sense, then a person is forced
to deny all knowledge that has been gained by humanity over the last
several millennia. That is far too retro for me to even consider. I
am not afraid of learning. In fact, to my way of thinking, one of the
biggest sins a person can commit is the sin of being afraid to learn,
regardless of where that knowledge may take them. To give up learning
is to die a worse than physical death.