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For the past several months I have been posting a weekly blog relating to the original teachings of Jesus, or more precisely Yeshua Bar Yosep. If any of you are interested, it can be found at www.aconversationwithyeshua.blogspot.com

I also maintain a Facebook page with the name "A Conversation With Yeshua" which gives the same quotes each week as my blog. I'm always looking for new "friends", so if you are interested, don't be shy!

Brother Peter

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For the past several months I have been posting a weekly blog relating to the original teachings of Jesus, or more precisely Yeshua Bar Yosep. If any of you are interested, it can be found at www.aconversationwithyeshua.blogspot.com

I also maintain a Facebook page with the name "A Conversation With Yeshua" which gives the same quotes each week as my blog. I'm always looking for new "friends", so if you are interested, don't be shy!

Brother Peter

What criteria do you use for "the original teachings of Jesus"? Is it the Jesus seminar?

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Just my opinion here but I believe that nobody knows what exactly came from Jesus' mouth. Most source materials are not even in Aramaic, the language likely be spoken by Jesus.

To me it actually does not make much of a difference whether Jesus said XYZ of did not say XYZ.

If Jesus had a message of love and peace, similar to Buddha's message then I am all for it, however if it is a message of you must join the body and obey God or else you will be severely punished then I want absolutely nothing to do with it.

And I bear the consequences with pride!

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What criteria do you use for "the original teachings of Jesus"? Is it the Jesus seminar?

Basically, I went back to all of the first century texts that I am aware of that were generated by non-related Christian sects to find common sayings. Since each group was not directly related to the others, common sayings probably originated from an earlier source, often called the Oral Tradition. If more than two sources quote the same words, or line of thought, the probabiity is even higher that the words come from the Oral Tradition. The books I used included the letters of Paul, the Gospel Oxyrhnchus 1224, The Gospel of Mark, the Q Gospel (including several orphan sayings only used by Matthew or Luke), the Gospel of Thomas, the Edgerton Gospel, The Diache, the Gospel of John and the First Epistle of Peter. I came up with 52 common sayings.

It was a lot of work.

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Just my opinion here but I believe that nobody knows what exactly came from Jesus' mouth. Most source materials are not even in Aramaic, the language likely be spoken by Jesus.

To me it actually does not make much of a difference whether Jesus said XYZ of did not say XYZ.

If Jesus had a message of love and peace, similar to Buddha's message then I am all for it, however if it is a message of you must join the body and obey God or else you will be severely punished then I want absolutely nothing to do with it.

And I bear the consequences with pride!

The main message that I found is this:

"Righteousness and peace are not some abstract thoughts. They will not be found by lookng around and waiting for them to come to us. They are found within all of us, although we may not realize it. The time of righteousness and peace comes when we practice it.

To begin living a life filled with righteousness and peace, we have to forget how we have been taught to live, and look at the world as a child would, innocent of the world's evils.

Care for others as much as you would care for yourself. Forgive those who want to hurt you.

Don't forget your responsibilities to others, but dedicate your life to the Creator. And don't trust earthly riches."

That basically was Jesus' primary message, although he did have thoughts about divorce, hypocrites and about keeping arbitrary rules. The one thing he did not say was that his was the only way. He was trying to teach a violent world a new way to live. Unfortunately, most of us still haven't learned.

Edited by Brother Peter

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The main message that I found is this:

"Righteousness and peace are not some abstract thoughts. They will not be found by lookng around and waiting for them to come to us. They are found within all of us, although we may not realize it. The time of righteousness and peace comes when we practice it.

To begin living a life filled with righteousness and peace, we have to forget how we have been taught to live, and look at the world as a child would, innocent of the world's evils.

Care for others as much as you would care for yourself. Forgive those who want to hurt you.

Don't forget your responsibilities to others, but dedicate your life to the Creator. And don't trust earthly riches."

That basically was Jesus' primary message, although he did have thoughts about divorce, hypocrites and about keeping arbitrary rules. The one thing he did not say was that his was the only way. He was trying to teach a violent world a new way to live. Unfortunately, most of us still haven't learned.

Excuse my accenting your words... but I have been trying to impart this idea to folks for a long time. I was - and still am - surprised and dismayed by the by the reaction that I get to the idea that man was not always as " civilized " as he is now. And that the rules changed over time for a REASON - and the changing rules show the symbiosis between Man and God.... The Heritage of the Judaic world view which gave birth to Christianity......

I would be interested in exactly what you have done, if you care to share more...

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Excuse my accenting your words... but I have been trying to impart this idea to folks for a long time. I was - and still am - surprised and dismayed by the by the reaction that I get to the idea that man was not always as " civilized " as he is now. And that the rules changed over time for a REASON - and the changing rules show the symbiosis between Man and God.... The Heritage of the Judaic world view which gave birth to Christianity......

I would be interested in exactly what you have done, if you care to share more...

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you- I spent a week in Colorado celebrating my son's wedding.

First, please go up several posts (I think it is post #4 or 5) where I talk a little about how I researched this. We all realize many of the gospel stories present conflicting ideas. The details just don't match up. As you start looking at the "extra-canonical" books (that never made it into the Bible) even more problems show up. I knew, from my religious readings, that many of these documents came from different faith trajectories that all developed during the first century. Paul's writings were obviously directed to a different group than was Mark's gospel, or John's. What I looked for were common threads that might have come from a still earlier source (the "oral tradition") which is as close as we ever will come to the actual thoughts of Jesus.

I was able to match up 52 thoughts that came from two or more faith trajectories. Based on the number of times the idea shows up, as well as the relitive age of the source material, I further ranked them based on the confidence I had that they were legitimate. They present a Jesus that isn't taught by many (if any) churches.

I did all this for a book I was writing, and that was published last winter, called "A Conversation With Yeshua- Creating A Personal Theology". In the book I present all the source material for each of the 52 topics, and then offer my own interpretation of the quotes. At the end of the book I combine all of my interpretations to come up with a dialog, or conversation, between Jesus and the reader. The idea is that a reader could look at all the quotes, write down his own interpretations, and then see how Jesus actually speaks to him, or her.

At the end of the day, I came up with the following two sentences, that I think totally summarizes Jesus' teachings:

"You are entering the Kingdom of God when you commit to a life of righteousness and peace. You are living the Kingdom of God when you live this commitment."

If you are interested, the book is available through Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and several Christian on-line book sellers. I think the price is around $10. I'd love to be able to make this available through the ULC book store, but don't know the best way to contact them to see if they would be interested.

Also, each week I do a blog, which gives the quote for the week, and the books I referenced. The blog can be found at www.aconversationwithyeshua.blogspot.com

Thanks for your interest. I hope this reply wasn't too long!

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Wiki has some good info on the Jesus Seminar if you are interested. Check out the list with the porbability of what Jesus said in red and see how close it comes to what you have concluded in your investigation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

Thanks. I have read several of the books written by Jesus seminar members. They were what initally got me interested enough to start doing my own research. Some of their quotes are the same as mine. I think I have given more emphasis on non-biblical books in putting together my final list. It has been a interesting project.

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