Gospel Discrepancies

Four texts written in Roman Empire times were chosen (at the Council of Rome 382, the Synod of Hippo 393, and two synods of Carthage 397 and 419) as being the founding documents of what was to develop as the Christian faith system.  All four texts, now referred to as “Gospels,” allegedly related some singular author’s perspective of events said to have occurred during the life and the three years of ministry of a man called Jesus.  The selection of only four gospels out of many writings available on Jesus’ life, ministry and death that were considered to be worthy of canonization was the idea that had been championed by “Saint” Irenaeus of Lyons c. 185.  He was the Christian prelate and Father of the Greek Church 170-190.  Typical of the spiritually narrowminded, Irenaeus denounced any sect which used some isolated “gospel” of their sect leader’s choice rather than what Irenaeus considered to be more authoritative.

Why did Irenaeus believe that there had to be only four gospels?  His divine logic was “…it is not possible that there can be either more or fewer than four” to serve as the four “Pillars of the Church.”  To rationalize this he offered the analogy of the four corners of the earth and the four winds.  Inspiration for four gospels may also have come from the book Ezekiel 1:10 in which four faces are seen by the prophet: “…the four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and the four had the face of an ox on the left side; the four also had the face of the eagle” (on the left). Doubtlessly Irenaeus drew upon Revelation also (4:6-7), where it describes god’s throne as adorned with the same four faces.   [What these faces really alluded to will be explained with each brief notation on the alleged gospel author.]

Christianity places high traditional value on the four canonical gospels, contending that these four, selected from many others that were once available, are the accounts which are allegedly favored by god, which therefore makes them central to its faith system.  Once the bickering “fathers” finally selected which of the writings best suited their authoritative purpose (at least 92 years after Irenaeus), they were then canonized as “gospel,” and these texts have been obstinately proclaimed ever since to be “accurate and authoritative” in representing Jesus’ biography..

Mark:  Despite their canonical order, the book of “Saint” Mark is traditionally placed as the second Gospel, but it was actually the first written account to appear publicly, the initial version dating c 55-60, during Nero’s reign, but re-edited c 70-75 CE.  Curiously, there are some features of the book of Mark that seem to be sidestepped.  The first peculiarity is the seeming lack of familiarity with the Judean history, customs, traditions and geography.  Mark most certainly was not an eye-witness, and the time-setting is not at all specific.  Nonetheless, the setting for his gospel had to have been conceived as taking place some time during the reign of Tiberius Caesar (14-37 CE).  This pioneer gospel opens with an alleged prophecy which the author, “Mark,” pretends came from the Jewish scripture book of Isaiah.  In actuality it draws upon verses from Exodus and Malachi as well as Isaiah.  The author apparently used a Greek translation of Isaiah, which would account for the assertion that Jesus would come from Nazareth, a town that did not exist even in the first century of our common calendar.  This confusion possibly issued out of the Greek translation of Isaiah which declared the messiah shall be a “nazorean,” which actually meant a “branch” from the house of David.  The writer simply mistook reference to a family tree as being a town from which the messiah would come.  From Exodus the writer drew upon the saga of Israelites being led out of the wilderness, and mixed in elements from Isaiah and Malachi concerning the fall of Babylon.  These features gave the appearance of a prophecy that a messenger was to come and prepare the way for the coming messiah.  This laid down the groundwork for the character of John the Baptist.

“Saint” Mark is traditionally represented with a lion, which from prehistory times represented the zodiacal sign of Leo, one of the four ancient cardinal divisions of the zodiac.  In the prehistory lessons once taught with constellation Leo, the subject concerned how creative energy initiates the process of manifestation as matter.

Matthew:  The book of Matthew, written c. 75-85, was canonically placed in first position, possibly because it was the most Jewish in tone of the four accounts.  His name was given in the earlier written book of Mark 3:18, listed there as one of the original disciples, but Matthew is noted in the later written gospels and in Acts as simply one of Jesus’ followers.  In the period when the Gospel of Matthew was composed an atmosphere of religious and social tension had grown within the Roman Empire.  The church that Matthew allegedly founded in Antioch (Matthew 9:9 and 10:3) hints that this Matthew was most likely a second generation Christian with Jewish background, not one of the original disciples.  This may account for confusion by later evangelists who mentioned Matthew as a tax collector, a character known elsewhere in Gospel as Levi.

“Saint” Matthew is traditionally represented with the figure of a man, which from prehistory times represented the zodiacal sign of Aquarius (where the man is pouring out water), one of the four ancient cardinal divisions of the zodiac.  In the prehistory lessons once taught with constellation Aquarius, the subject concerned how Source activity (creative energies) initiates the amassing of energy toward consciousness.

Luke:  This gospel author is declared to have been an inhabitant of Antioch and was a companion of Paul, a tradition which is untenable.  Presented canonically as the third Gospel in Christian tradition it is presented as “according to Luke,” and it is sometimes spoken of as “the first volume” of a two-part work, the other being the book of Acts, allegedly by the same author. There is a problem with that contention for it is difficult to reconcile the letters of Paul regarding accounts of travel (9:51 and 19:27) with the accounts as referred to in Luke.  Despite these differences the assertion is that both texts are nonetheless by the same author is held to be “substantially correct.”

The Prolog of Luke indicates that the author relied on the earlier literary sources (Mark and Matthew) of the budding Christian sect.  By the later timeframe of this author (84-90), however, the text was intended for a predominately gentile community, not Jewish converts as was the earlier purpose.  The theological tenor is notably more advanced than in Mark and Matthew—clearly it was not written in that earlier timeframe.

“Saint” Luke is traditionally represented with the figure of an ox, which from prehistory times represented the zodiacal sign of Taurus (the Bull), one of the four ancient cardinal divisions of the zodiac.  In the prehistory lessons once taught with constellation Taurus, the subject concerned creative energy and how the four inseparable elementary principles within creative energy becomes active and initiates development toward mental sensitivity.

John:  The gospel of “Saint” John was the last to be written (c. 105-106; some scholars say as late as 150), but in terms of relating Jesus to the creative power which is personified as “God,” John’s presentation seems, theologically speaking, to have been an attempt to replace the earlier cult narratives.  Compare the opening line of John, part of the theological Prolog of his gospel, with the first line of Genesis, and it suggests that it was hoped that this presentation would restructure the earlier Christian cult party line.  Thus the book begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  By the time the 51 verses of the first chapter concludes, Jesus has been declared to be the “Word, Son of God, Christ, King of Israel, and Son of Man.”  And the first chapter concludes “…you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending (as on Jacob’s ladder) upon the Son of Man”—i.e. upon the personification of the Life Principle which originates out of Source.

Again it should be noted that the gospel of John, like the Gospel According to Matthew and Gospel According to Luke, also admits that this text is  “Gospel According to John.”  In other words, it is not an eye-witness account of any of the alleged events.  The text was the last one composed (c. 105-106) and placed last in the Gospel lineup; the intention of its canonical placement may possibly be due to its somewhat less judgmental interpretation of what constitutes “sin.”  The Gospel of John also differs dramatically from the other three “saints” in that his perception is, shall we say, more universal in understanding man’s relationship with the power that is personified as “God.”   “Sin” in John’s gospel is seen to stem more from lack of spiritual development than from ethical circumstances—which is to say, sin is due to one’s loss in recognizing the interrelationship of all things to each other.  This is interpreted in his gospel as alienation from God.  The author of John may have possessed access to the more ancient cosmic/astronomical lessons, which would suggest that the crucifixion of Jesus is not to be thought of as a sacrificial offering to God for man’s sins, but that it represents the glorification of the Life Principle nailed to its transformational purpose.  This meaning  can be said to be summed up in John’s gospel where the personification of the Life Principle (Jesus) allegedly said, “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)

“Saint” John is traditionally represented with an eagle, which in Jewish astronomical recognition represented the zodiacal sign of Scorpius, one of the four cardinal divisions of the zodiac.  In prehistory lessons once taught with constellation Scorpius, the subject matter concerned the animal kingdom and how it is to advance into its higher potential.

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