Today we are talking the Gospel of Matthew who DEPLOYS THE DEVIL against the Pharisees. As if to say Pfuck the Pfarisees! Continuing with our discussion of Elaine Pagels’ book The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics, by Elaine Pagels. Chapter 3!
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TOS Chapter 3 - Matthew Against the Pharisees
[00:00:00] Don Early: Everyone's reality will change dramatically multiple times throughout their life, based on learning new things. By reality. I mean, before you learned this thing, reality looked like this. These things were true, but after learning this thing, Your previous reality breaks down. Falls apart and is no longer true.
[00:00:29] Or at least no longer complete. Let's take some examples. Santa Claus. When Santa was real, the excitement of this gift bearing near God, like being visiting you, who knows you and exactly what you want. Who rides in a flying sled and real flying reindeer because magic. And magic is special. And you never want it to go away because it creates so much wonderment. Enjoy.
[00:01:01] Until one day you discover. It was your parents the whole time. And Santa was a story. Wrapped in a tradition. But that meant magic wasn't real.
[00:01:15] For many, this was the last draw. I mean, maybe the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy, you'd already debunked, but made sense.
[00:01:27] But Santa's. Santa was a big deal.
[00:01:31] If you had an experience like this, try and recall how you felt about learning the truth. What was reality? Like after you learned this, were you angry? Were you sad or disappointed? Maybe? Jaded. Thoughts of what was the point if he's not even real? Why would your parents lie to you like that all this time and get your hopes up?
[00:01:58] Oh listener. If you picked up that the word "truth" is super loaded the way I dropped that word, you have been paying attention. Because what is "truth?" And what is "real?" #thematrix.
[00:02:13] This reality shift or paradigm shift as some call it, happens because the thing you just learned, you know is truer than what you knew before. And that shakes things up and you have to question what else you thought you knew to be true?
[00:02:30] And parents getting a divorce. Finding you had a half sibling from one of your parents previous marriages. Falling in love. Learning history, physics. Or how to play music on your own.
[00:02:45] In college, my religious paradigm shift began with a book called Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, by Marcus Borg. This was my introduction to the so-called "Quest for the historical Jesus." While I didn't fully understand everything I was reading, there were truths I was learning that I just could not ignore. The reality of Jesus as God incarnate. The afterlives of heaven and hell. The way I would even read the Bible from that point on changed dramatically. I was so angry i threw the book across the room in my dorm yelling out something like "Well fuck, if that's true then everything I've ever been taught about God and Jesus is a fucking lie!"
[00:03:35] Change is uncomfortable Sometimes painful Because of that events like these have been called "the Devil's work." Oddly enough though, accepting Jesus as your personal lord and savior is not considered this. And I would definitely call that a reality changing experience. I don't know if any of the above experiences are for sure The Devil's work. But The Devil is our work! This is The Devil You Don't Know.
[00:04:10] Welcome. We're here again. Uh, I'm I'm Don Early
[00:04:31] Emily Quann: I'm Emily.
[00:04:32] Jeremy Spray: I'm Jeremy.
[00:04:34] Don Early: And, uh, this is The Devil You Don't Know Podcast, which is where we explore the historical and cultural relevance of the figure of the devil. And we are reading the book, by Elaine Pagels The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics. Based on a true story.
[00:04:56] Today we are... I'm trying to come up with a new one each time.
[00:05:03] Emily Quann: I love it.
[00:05:04] Don Early: Today we are talking about chapter three. Which is "Matthew against the Pharisees: Deploying the Devil", which after reading it, I just decided to, uh, subtitle this "Pfuck the Ppharisees." Am I right? So, I mean, it was really, really glaring that, I mean, we get that in the title, Matthew Against the Pharisees, that's obvious, but now we know why. We're going to get into this, but, um, wow. this is so well before we get into that, let me just talk about like what we're gonna get into today.
[00:05:46] Cause I don't know about you. Well, it's probably just me. Let's face it. It's probably just me, but I really nerded the hell out out. Some things just blew my mind on
[00:05:58] Jeremy Spray: When I was reading this chapter, I was picturing you nerding out. It was more, more than a couple of times. I was like, oh, Don's really enjoying this.
[00:06:09] Emily Quann: That's that's me reading the whole book though. So far.
[00:06:16] Don Early: Okay.
[00:06:16] Emily Quann: It's no, it's not a bad book. It's it's excellent. And it's chock full of lots of excellent information.
[00:06:25] Don Early: It is, it is. And we are not going to get into probably half of it today. But
[00:06:31] Emily Quann: That would be hard to do
[00:06:33] Jeremy Spray: there's a lot there.
[00:06:33] Don Early: Mean, honestly it is. It's very, I definitely encourage you. Go out there. There is links in the description, of this episode. Go out and grab that book if you want to. But today. Okay. So in episode one, I sort of did that, uh, 10, well, I called it five, you know, "New Testament Studies in Five Minutes."
[00:06:55] Right. But it was, I timed it out. It's actually 10 minutes.
[00:06:59] Emily Quann: But it was great. I loved it.
[00:07:01] Don Early: Thanks. But I did get a few things I'm not going to say wrong, but I should clarify some stuff. And this chapter did a lot of that, I think. And so what we're going to talk about is, uh, canonical nerdery. Yup. And so, you know, I had talked about the canonization of the New Testament culminated in the Vulgate, which is the Latin translation of the, the entire Bible. Well, that's kind of when the order of all the books in the New Testament sort of got cemented, but canonized, like what was actually like, yes, we accept this as the church has been happening for centuries up until that point.
[00:07:44] So in this kind of brings that up. So I just want to make sure we clarify that, you know, that's, uh, that's what we're talking about. And so this man I got to tell you, I've just, I'm seriously giddy over the content of this chapter around, um, uh, canonization is a thing that I've I've I dunno why I'm gonna we'll we'll get into that.
[00:08:09] We know what made it into the canon, but we need to know where did these come from? And we talked a bit, I talked a bit about that in two episodes ago, episode one, about the gospels in particular, why, you know, we have the four gospels. Talked a bit about the, um, the synoptic gospels and what "synoptic gospels" meant.
[00:08:35] And we talked a bit about Q and we talked a bit about Mark and how John's kind of this own thing on the other side. Yeah. Um, so we, we get some clarification on that in this chapter. Uh, we also get to talk about why they made it into the canon, which I think is really, I don't think I ever put this together in the entire time I've ever been reading the New Testament of whatsoever.
[00:09:06] This was a kind of a big thing for me. And then what didn't make it in and why did they not make it in? And there's a couple of big ones that came up, like for my next bullet point. Who the fuck is Thomas?
[00:09:24] Emily Quann: I love the Gospel of Thomas.
[00:09:25] Don Early: The Gospel of Thomas, the Secret Gospel of Thomas might I add. The Secret Gospel of Thomas who talks about being the secret twin of Jesus?
[00:09:39] That there's a secret twin? What the, okay. We're going to get into that because what they mean by that kind of blew my mind. So I want to, I want to get your take on that too. And then, okay. The subject of this, this whole chapter is Matthew, right? Matthew. I mean, I've always known that Matthew knew about Mark used parts of Mark and sort of updated it for his own time. I get that. That's been a thing I've known, but what I didn't know.
[00:10:18] Emily Quann: Copied him.
[00:10:19] Don Early: Well, yeah, yeah. Verbatim in many cases. But what I didn't fully quite realize is that the author of Matthew was countering several damaging rumors or accusations about Jesus coming from the Pharisees. And those happened to be around Jesus's birth, the validity of Jesus's family and, like family, genealogy. And the, the validity of, of that familial source. And then Jesus's alleged violation of Jewish law, which they point to the Gospel of Mark as evidence that he did that, you know. And so, this just blew some things out of the water and put this gospel into perspective that I had never considered before,
[00:11:21] Jeremy Spray: That's cool.
[00:11:23] Don Early: in,
[00:11:24] Jeremy Spray: The thing that I got from a real quick, I just, I just want to bring up real fast that I thought it was really interesting. Cause I hadn't thought of it this way before either is that the, each of the gospels were written for a purpose. Like I was raised in and just kind of went into my education of the, like, this is a historical record and that's not true.
[00:11:43] Like it may have been based in history somewhere, but the record itself was always about a particular message and each of the synoptics were written with a purpose and with an audience to understand it. And, uh, you know, these what's currently being interpreted in several cases as a historical character was literally actually a literative figure, but like everything else before it. So I, that I was like, Oh, that makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways. So it wasn't Jesus that hated the Pharisees. It was Matthew that hated the Pharisees or whoever actually wrote the book of Matthew. Right,
[00:12:19] Don Early: I mean, there was a Jesus that, I mean, there's a little bit of debate about that left. That's still out there kicking, but
[00:12:26] Emily Quann: Oh, I think he was a historical person.
[00:12:28] Don Early: I think that is pretty resounding that there is so much historical evidence that there was a person, that was named Jesus from Nazareth, who was executed by the Romans on the charge of sedition
[00:12:44] Emily Quann: He had radical ideas. He gained some followers.
[00:12:49] Don Early: Again, anti Jewish norm and in some ways, probably anti empirical, but, I dunno, I mean, it was still quite Jewish. Anyway. Point is what we know about him comes from people who had their own issues.
[00:13:08] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:13:09] Don Early: There was nobody writing biography about him and if there was those documents are gone and we've never known about them. Um, so what we do have is what we do have
[00:13:22] Emily Quann: Specific narratives that are, that have an agenda behind it.
[00:13:28] Don Early: And the other thing that came up, I don't remember if it was in this particular chapter or if it was in one of the videos I was watching, which by the way, this episode has a ton of YouTube video references and links here, I just discovered a smorgasbord, that's Lutheran by the way, of amazing just interesting ways to contextualize the process that I just was nerding out about. But also, who wrote the gospels and who wrote the Bible and uh, talking about different translations and stuff. But I, I guess where I'm going with this is, uh, the comment that, "Translation is commentary." And this is, this is an old saying, cause anybody who knows about translating anything, you know, that you're, I mean, you are putting your bias on it.
[00:14:26] And there are just some really, really glaring commentary that's happening when the translators chose certain words or not just certain words, but chose words that may have been appropriate for the translation, but meant it in a very particular context. And
[00:14:48] Emily Quann: I know exactly what you're referencing right now.
[00:14:51] Don Early: That context cements the idea for centuries or millennia to come. I mean, that's what gets me is like the word itself is pretty accurate. If you just take it at face value, but what they're referring to, they really want it to mean this particular meaning of that
[00:15:12] Jeremy Spray: Yeah, because it was relevant at the time, right? It wasn't, it was definitely contemporary.
[00:15:19] Don Early: Well there was some arguments around it, you know? I mean, and this shit happens all the time and that's where we get Lucifer.
[00:15:26] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:15:27] Don Early: It's exactly where we get Lucifer. Lucifer is not a name of an angel in the Bible. It doesn't exist, but John Milton made it happen. And thank God, cause that's an amazing piece of art and amazing piece of lore that we get, but it shaped real theology to real people's reality.
[00:15:53] Jeremy Spray: It shaped perceptions and reactions to things.
[00:15:55] Don Early: It it did. And that's what art does at its best. Right?
[00:15:59] Jeremy Spray: Yep.
[00:16:00] Don Early: Yeah. It's inspiration. It's, it's communicating that inspiration, with, or without language.
[00:16:08] Emily Quann: Goosebumps
[00:16:09] Don Early: Yeah. I love art.
[00:16:12] Emily Quann: Same here.
[00:16:13] Don Early: I'm just going to say religion at its best, AT ITS BEST, is art.
[00:16:20] Jeremy Spray: I like that you're like making eye contact with me on that one. I'm talk talking about it at its best.
[00:16:26] Don Early: Well, you represent a whole lot of other people out there so,
[00:16:30] Jeremy Spray: I understood
[00:16:31] Don Early: I get that. All right. So, and we're going to conclude whose p-fault is it? It's the p-pharisees' p-fault.
[00:16:43] Jeremy Spray: I'm a little bummed out that that came up first. Cause I wanted that to be like an end cap, but I, I love it inside the
[00:16:50] Emily Quann: Yeah, we'll fix it in post
[00:16:52] Don Early: We can always put that back. Yeah. Okay. diving in, uh, this is chapter three of the Origin or Satan. The Jesus movement at this point has been gaining quite a bit of traction. So real brief review from the last two episodes go in Mark that took a place right around 70 CE. And that was the end of this Jewish uprising
[00:17:20] Emily Quann: The second temple.
[00:17:21] Don Early: The second temple got destroyed as fuck. And the Romans quelled that rebellion real hard, after four years. They held it up for awhile, but now we're into 80 CE or so another, not quite another generation, but you know, another decade at least after that. And at this point, much to the chagrin, I think, of a lot of Jewish Christians at this point is that the Jesus movement is gaining a lot of traction among the Gentiles and not getting as much foothold in the Jewish population as they were kind of thinking it would.
[00:18:06] Jeremy Spray: With a lot of thanks to Paul on that one, right? That was, that was kind of, his deal was, was he was writing letters and trying to spread the word and every place he was getting shut down, uh, was, you know in the Judaic community he's like, alright. Let's go to the other places and, and spread the word that way and started seeing some, uh, some foothold.
[00:18:29] Don Early: Yeah, Yeah. And it's interesting because I think apparently there was a fairly large non-Jewish community, the Gentile community that wanted to be Jewish or wanted to have part of what they had, and this, this whole Jesus movement was providing the opportunity to do that without having to go through the whole sort of acceptance thing.
[00:18:54] Jeremy Spray: Which was great. Right. He kind of gave him that in and allowed them to adjust the rules a little bit. So they didn't have to like, well, you have to be of X blood and from X location, they're like, yeah, But. I liked what that guy did, so can that work? And they started getting their, their go aheads.
[00:19:14] Don Early: Yeah. And so we have this, beginnings of this movement of gospels. People are starting to write this shit down, finally. And up until Mark, all that we really hand in a written form that we know of as far as scholars are, have been able to put together are the letters of Paul and the letters attributed to Paul. So these are epistles. There are then Mark's gospel and you know, so that's in 70 or so
[00:19:48] Emily Quann: And I think that's the biggest theory. The most accepted theory is that Mark came first,
[00:19:53] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:19:54] Emily Quann: And Luke and Matthew derived, they used Mark As a source.
[00:19:59] Jeremy Spray: As a source.
[00:20:00] Emily Quann: There are a couple other, theories that say Mark did not come first but we're, we're operating under the assumption that he did. That's the most widely accepted one. So when we're giving our timeline here, we're saying that Mark came first, even though that is debated in some circles.
[00:20:18] Don Early: Yeah, so we mentioned the Gospel of Thomas. Now, there are some out there, some scholars out there that will put parts of the Gospel of Thomas,
[00:20:26] Emily Quann: Earlier than Mark.
[00:20:28] Don Early: Earlier than Mark even, either contemporary with Paul or even predating Paul. Most agree that there was probably some form of the Gospel of Thomas that was written in Greek. Some are saying actually that maybe some of it was actually written in the original Aramaic, uh, concurrent with Jesus' time. So hard to know because, as we'll get into it, the gospel of Thomas was written in Coptic, which we have in its entirety, which dates between the third and fourth centuries.
[00:20:58] So like I said, we'll get into that in a bit. But Paul, Paul's interesting because once again, he's the first cat that we have really, from a chronological standpoint that talks about Jesus in a written form. By the time we get Matthew, Mark is well established as we've talking about and what you are describing Emily, they called the Marken Priority. In the link in this episode, in the description below, uh, there is a fantastic video by Useful Charts that you should totally check out that goes through some of these theories and some of these different possibilities of how the gospels were put together and why we've landed on the order that we have, or the timelines that we've got here. So check that out. I highly recommend it.
[00:21:45] Don Early: But Paul, getting back to Paul. Paul does talk about a gospel though. He uses that term a lot. And in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, verses 3-4, he summarizes this, "that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day," that's the gospel for Paul.
[00:22:11] Paul has like zero interest in Jesus's actual earthly life and what he said and what he meant, you know, what his messages were. Because for Paul, it's all about: "Jesus died. The fuck does that mean for the rest of us?"
[00:22:26] Jeremy Spray: Right. And right and he came from, uh, help me out. He came from a law background. Didn't he? So he was all about making it.
[00:22:36] Don Early: He was, actually a tentmaker.
[00:22:39] Jeremy Spray: Oh, okay.
[00:22:40] Don Early: But he became a Pharisee.
[00:22:42] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:22:43] Don Early: As a Pharisee, he persecuted the followers of Jesus, until he had his conversion. So I suppose there would be sort of a law
[00:22:52] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. Pharisee is much more in line with really what it would be, but he, he had a, where my head was going with it was, he was very, very contextual. He was, he was very much about like "this because of this and this because of this." And he was always very clear in his letters of "Jesus was this way, because it was set up this way" and he would, he would constantly refer back to the, uh, the old Bible, right. The Hebrew Bible, and say, here he did this here. He did this. This is why it lines up. And would make this argument over and over again. And like, "Jesus is Messiah. And these are, these are the, these pieces you're looking for. These are the things he did. Look, they add up"
[00:23:34] Don Early: But I think and even more than that, though, for Paul, is the focus on the resurrection.
[00:23:42] Jeremy Spray: oh, Okay.
[00:23:42] Don Early: For Jesus, right? The gospel is that Jesus raised from the dead. That is the good news for Paul,
[00:23:51] Jeremy Spray: Right
[00:23:51] Don Early: That he did suffer. He did die, but that he also, according to the scriptures, and, on the third day, he, he rose again. And so for Paul, that's really real key for the gospel writers, not that's the resurrection, interestingly enough is not the focal point,
[00:24:15] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:24:16] Don Early: At least for not for Matthew and not for Mark. Mark doesn't really even
[00:24:21] Emily Quann: There's nothin.
[00:24:22] Don Early: In fact, it was postscript, right? He ends with,
[00:24:26] Emily Quann: And they fled afraid.
[00:24:28] Don Early: The end.
[00:24:28] Jeremy Spray: afraid they fled afraid Three women.
[00:24:30] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:24:30] Jeremy Spray: Fled, yeah. exactly.
[00:24:32] Don Early: So they, they had to have a, like someone who's like, Hey, hang on a minute. That's not right. We've got to fucking put an end on this one. This is, that's a terrible ending. So, but Matthew, I mean, Matthew spends more time around the resurrection, but what he focuses on is, is very different than a, that what Paul was. I mean, the other thing with Paul is, you said it, Jew and Gentile, slave or free, male and female, all are one in Christ if you believe in Christ Jesus. And the other thing though, that, she points out is that, Elaine Pagels in this book points out that it's possible that Paul may have had access to, something in the way of sayings of Jesus. Cause he refers to certain sayings that he had, you know, it could be the beatitudes, it could be the Lord's prayer, that sort of thing. And so that sort of brings us to this Q.
[00:25:35] Emily Quann: I was going to say, do they think it's the Q source? The sayings of Jesus.
[00:25:41] Don Early: Some of them do. Yeah. Well, the other thing that we got to realize is that much, like there were many gospels floating around by the time, you know, Mark starts kicking out a gospel. Uh, other people are like, Hey, that's a good idea. We should write our own. There's a bunch of different sources I think going on around this time, like, Hey, we gotta write this stuff down that he said. And so there may have not always been one consistent Q source. Q we learn is from the German "Quelle" meaning "source." It's a document that doesn't exist, in circulation whatsoever, but evidence of it exists in texts that do not seem to necessarily be related to each other that, but that strikingly word for word appear.
[00:26:27] Emily Quann: Right. So they had to get it from somewhere.
[00:26:30] Don Early: And the Gospel of Thomas has some of that. But Paul maybe not exactly as word for word, but he had clearly a collection of sayings.
[00:26:44] Alright. Synoptic gospels. Let's talk about that for a second. So we talked, we just talked about "Markan priority." So this is sort of a, what they call a "Two-Source Theory." So there's Mark, is one source, and then there's this Q source. And Matthew wrote after Mark. And so did Luke, the, the author who wrote Luke and Acts and just to review the, the idea is that Matthew and Luke used Mark and Q to write their gospels. Matthew didn't use any of Luke, Luke didn't use any of Matthew. The parts that they quote from Mark are pretty identical. The parts that they quote from this non-existent source that we refer to as Q seem to be pretty identical word for word, uh, between the two gospels. So and then we have John, which is a separate thing,
[00:27:44] Jeremy Spray: We have John
[00:27:45] Don Early: not synoptic. Okay. And he's not in line with them.
[00:27:50] Emily Quann: We'll just, we'll just put him over there.
[00:27:52] Don Early: Yeah. But there are other sources or other, documents out there that use this. And in fact, the gospel, again, we're keep coming back to the Gospel of Thomas cause it's frickin cool. But the Gospel of Thomas was actually thought of maybe as another independent source of Jesus' sayings, and that maybe it was either part of, or maybe completely independent of Q.
[00:28:17] Because the Gospel of Thomas has no narrative. It is just a collection of sayings. Now the, the other theory, so that we just talked about the Two-Source: Q/Mark. the other theory, uh, that's mentioned in this Useful Charts episode that I've got posted here is the Q+ /Papias
[00:28:42] Emily Quann: This one fascinates me, because I had never heard of this one before.
[00:28:47] Don Early: I hadn't either, but I think this is probably a lot closer to what was going on in that Marcus Borg, A New Testament in Chronological Order, that I was talking about before, where they put Luke and into like the mid first century, maybe even close to the second century, CE.
[00:29:06] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:29:07] Don Early: So what this says is there was a source called Q, which Mark had access to. And they call it Q+ because Mark uses some of it and doesn't use some of the others, but apparently Mark's gospel uses some of this. And then when Matthew comes along, he has access to both Q+ and Mark. Remember Mark is made up a partially of Q+. Okay. And so Matthew has access to both of these. After Matthew, though, there is
[00:29:49] Emily Quann: This other source,
[00:29:51] Don Early: This other source. I can't remember if it was a priest, named Papias and there is a document that we know exists. And I don't remember, it referenced in the video, what the name of that document is. We don't have a copy of that document
[00:30:05] Emily Quann: It's gone.
[00:30:07] Don Early: Completely. But, that document had access to Matthew, Mark, and Q+.
[00:30:16] Okay. Following me.
[00:30:18] Jeremy Spray: Yep. So following down the timeline.
[00:30:21] Don Early: Yeah. Q plus came first, then Mark, then Matthew. Papias is going to have access to all that so far. And then Luke has access to the previous four.
[00:30:33] Emily Quann: All four.
[00:30:34] Don Early: And so that's why he's able to put together things that, Luke and Acts, to be synoptic like that. And I thought that was fascinating.
[00:30:47] Where this sort of falls apart for me is with John, because I, if we put Luke in the timeline that Marcus Borg did, which was late, 150 to 200 CE or so if we
[00:31:03] Emily Quann: Would that have made him, would that have made him the last writer then
[00:31:07] Don Early: yes, would have.
[00:31:08] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:31:09] Emily Quann: But then that doesn't explain why John is so.
[00:31:12] Don Early: Well, not necessarily. What it doesn't explain is why Luke didn't use John at all. John can use his own thing. And so it's explained that John, probably had access or it's thought that he had access to something that they refer to as the Signs Gospel, which is instead of a collection of sayings, it's a collection of Jesus' miracles. And he took the Signs Gospel and built his narrative around that instead of the others. Who knows what reason, why, but there is some pretty theological reasons why John writes the way he does.
[00:31:50] Maybe Luke just didn't agree with John. I don't know if that's where this goes. It does sort of suggest maybe Luke and John are more contemporary?
[00:32:00] Emily Quann: That, so that, that one is dealing with three unknown sources now. That's Q+, Papial... what is it called? Papias and then the Signs?
[00:32:13] Don Early: Luke, Papias, Matthew, Mark, they don't use The Signs. Only John
[00:32:18] Jeremy Spray: Only John used The Signs, right. And that was brought up in that video that, that John is a theological narrative. the other ones that the synoptic ones are, are very particular
[00:32:30] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:32:30] Jeremy Spray: quotes and and lifestyle.
[00:32:32] Don Early: Their own sort of tradition and stuff. So, yeah, I don't know. And there's even another one in there, uh, that they talk about. I'm not going to waste any time on that. Um, but check it out. Cause it's just cool. But Useful Charts, this is, uh, Matt Baker is the narrator and researcher who does that particular episode? Emily you've pointed out that there are other contributors to Useful Charts. Uh, is that right?
[00:33:00] Emily Quann: Yeah. There's other people who do their own videos and stuff. Um, I, the ones that I'm usually drawn to are usually narrated by, uh, Matt.
[00:33:10] Don Early: Yeah, he's great. So the episode is "The Gospel and Acts: Who Wrote the Bible? - Episode Five." And I have a link also, or I've got some description there. They have a whole, he, he they'd done a whole "Who Wrote the Bible?" series, I have links to all of those episodes too, I highly recommend. It's just, it's really, really interesting.
[00:33:31] If you're a visual person,
[00:33:33] Emily Quann: Like me.
[00:33:34] Don Early: puts, a lot of things into perspective. It's really cool.
[00:33:36] Jeremy Spray: It's also worth pointing out that, that, uh, Matt Baker is a double PhD and, and the information that he comes from it is highly, highly researched
[00:33:45] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:33:46] Jeremy Spray: and sourced it's. It's not just random ideas. Like
[00:33:48] Don Early: Yeah. It was not some
[00:33:50] Jeremy Spray: in there
[00:33:50] Don Early: there going, Hey, I looked up some stuff on Google. Yeah, he knows his stuff. Same with Religion for Breakfast. That's the other YouTube channel I've been following lately. Dr. Andrew Henry, who is also PhD, religion professor. He is associated with Harvard, I believe. Just puts out some great, great stuff, and he has a video that's actually referenced that they sort of did a collaboration together on this. So his episode is called, "Did the Gospels Copy Each Other?" And so I have that also reference.
[00:34:23] Emily Quann: Spoiler Alert. Yes.
[00:34:31] Don Early: Yeah. So, Anyway, lots of great, great links. Go check those out. Waste an afternoon. It's worth it.
[00:34:40] Emily Quann: Oh, yeah, I I've, I've spent hours on their videos. Hours.
[00:34:47] Don Early: Okay. The Gospel of Thomas let's get into it. First off, where are you guys at with this? Like,
[00:34:54] Emily Quann: I love the Gospel of Thomas. No, so I, I took, uh, Religion and Lit of the New Testament when I was at university and we studied obviously the New Testament, but a bunch of the gospels that did not make it into the New Testament. And I was really drawn to Gospel of Thomas. I thought it was fascinating to read and I loved that it was so focused on spirituality, not necessarily like an organized religion, like these are the practices and stuff.
[00:35:24] So much of it was just internal and what it means for you. And I don't know, I loved that. It spoke to me more so than, than some of the other stuff that was put in there. So that was my take on it.
[00:35:38] Jeremy Spray: Before reading about it in this book, the Gospel of Thomas was the very first book that I learned about that was excluded from the Bible. And it was the first time I had that context put together in my head that, wait a minute, this is not the Unfallible Word of God, but this is men deciding what to put together in a book as a Bible?
[00:35:59] And it just threw me into an amazing spiral of, uh, of what the world is and what reality is and what I had been taught as opposed to what is real. And so it really started like a big journey for me and came back to the, so when we came back and she brought up the Book of Thomas, I was like, okay, I know that I have a bias coming into this right now.
[00:36:25] And so I took a breath and listened to it. The thing that I remember getting the first time was the general sense of, like you said, Emily, the spirituality of what it is and the lack of procedures, the lack of control and the lack of systematic religion that was there.
[00:36:41] And, uh, and that was like, it was just that reminder of my, like my finger in the face of, of my parents and pointing to them and like religion isn't real. And the reason that Bible is made with it is, is to control people and just like, oh, this vehemence came out. And so I had to like calm myself down again and go, that's what I said, oh, it's, I'm not yelling at anybody.
[00:37:03] It's just walking, but it was a very much had that all over again. And then recognizing that the whole concept of, the potential that it was a counter to the book of John or the other way around was really fascinating as, as a concept that just kind of like, Yeah. they were, they were contrasting each other because one was setting something up for everyone that would existed. And the other was kind of knocking all of that down saying, no, no, no. It's a lot easier than that. Like, nah, we have a reason.
[00:37:37] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:37:38] Emily Quann: I remember in this class and granted, you know, we were at a Lutheran university. Um, but in, in the class I took, uh, there were some people who were just horrified by these gospels that did not make it into the Bible. And the reason they did not make it into the Bible. And this is going with the Bible is the Word of God. Like it was just, lightening bolted down to earth. And here is this book type of thing. Like this was, this was how it was in their mind. And so the four gospels that made it into the Bible, they are, they are perfection and these other gospels, how dare they exist. And it must be the work of the devil with these other words that are not true and stuff.
[00:38:30] And I remember there were a couple people in my class who just had visceral reactions that we are going to be reading some of these words and they learned that these were horrible words in these other gospels.
[00:38:45] Jeremy Spray: Akin to the Book of Mormon. Right. And, And, and, where, when I was raised, they were very much put together of the, this is the Bible and these are other books that are blaspheme. And And they're just these Blasphemous text and like, that's not true at all. They were just ignored or added to, or re or removed
[00:39:06] Emily Quann: And it was just, it was just, I know, in, in my, in my picture of how this worked, it was a bunch of old men sitting around a table. Uh, "This one is good for the Bible and this one is not," and it just pointing and choosing which ones go in. So in my brain is just a bunch of old, old men sitting there
[00:39:25] Don Early: yeah,
[00:39:26] Emily Quann: picking four of them.
[00:39:28] Don Early: Pretty, pretty, pretty sure that that's not far off. But to your point, and to Jeremy's point, I had a similar upbringing or, or reaction around, uh, there's a, couple, I don't remember. It's been too long and I don't care anymore, Bible verses about, "you shall not add to this book or take away from", and it was interpreted as the Bible itself, not just, where that verse was surfaced and with completely zero regard, like you said, I love what you said, you know, lightening out of the sky and here's this book, very sort of Moses up on the mountain and come down with the 10 Commandments direct from God on these tablets.
[00:40:13] And here's the book of the, you no, even even the most conservative and biblical literal, uh, who, who study history can, can say that there was a process. Their reasoning is going to be that it was guided by the divine hand of God, that it achieved the status in, in the order, in, and all that stuff, the way it is, and it's infallible in that way. So I inspired Kay fine, but there was a process and it happened, and there were books that were excluded. And your point is totally correct, why the Book of Mormon is rejected, why the Qur'an is rejected, because it is extra-testamental to the New Testament, which was supposed to be the Testament that supplanted the other Testament, you know, it's this vicious cycle.
[00:41:09] Jeremy Spray: But right. it came down to having that central message right there, there was, it was decided that there was a particular way that things needed to be with, for a particular group of people and that these books backed to that up, and that
[00:41:22] Don Early: And in particular, what it did is, and again, I don't think I put this together before it, the four gospels that made it were canonized because they provided a blueprint for Christian community and how to worship and how to be a religion
[00:41:39] Jeremy Spray: Right? Exactly.
[00:41:41] Don Early: and the others didn't.
[00:41:42] Jeremy Spray: They did not.
[00:41:44] Don Early: No, the Gospel of Thomas was really, really, I don't know for me, I was like, oh shit. Maybe I ought to be a Thomasian follower. Um,
[00:41:54] Emily Quann: like I said, I love it.
[00:41:55] Don Early: It's so focused on individual enlightenment. As opposed to this mandatory belief or group participation requirements. I love this whole, the kingdom of God is not a place.
[00:42:10] And they, I love that they recorded, you know, the disciples were like, well, where is it? You know, they have this discussion in the Gospel of Thomas, is like, no, it's a state of self discovery
[00:42:22] Emily Quann: Yeah. Like it's within You you have to get there. I, I see it just, it speaks to me. I think it's beautiful because I think religion is so individualized to a person and it's such a, an intimate relationship that you have with your God. Um,
[00:42:41] Don Early: Yeah. Yeah. And I, from what I personally know of this historical Jesus, I don't think that what is being said in the gospel of Thomas is outside of what Jesus have talked about why he would have been so controversial.
[00:43:00] Emily Quann: Yeah,
[00:43:00] Don Early: It seems in character for him, to do this. And it seems more in line with later struggles with the Christian community to need a blueprint.
[00:43:14] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:43:14] Don Early: And I think Jesus was like, maybe we don't really need a blueprint.
[00:43:19] Jeremy Spray: Right. And, but then there's that, I don't like to use the word control, so I'm gonna use some different word, but there is definitely a set of, and you can see it going through the epistles. And then of course, the gospels that were all put together. In just that they were very used to, and very comfortable with setting up a set of rules. Right? Leviticus is a great example. So that there is a historical context for, for the reason that they would need to be like, okay, fine. If this is going to be a thing, we also need to establish a set of rules, why is the gospel the way that it is? Why is it the resurrected from the dead after the three days? Like, like Paul was talking about? And so I get that there is definitely those pieces that were put together, but there's also kind of, which is what happens, like the mistranslation or the adjusted translation that says, because we said this, now this must be. And because we said this, now this must be. And so it becomes this twisted level of truth based around what was originally a guideline and then became a level of control. And certainly that is where my, my upset and my emotional reactions have come from is the, you were controlling me. You were manipulating my thought process, my belief process, rather than letting me explore and become and find
[00:44:53] Don Early: Yeah,
[00:44:53] Jeremy Spray: you told me what, what was, so when that was not so. I, I just I'm acknowledging that there are, there's a part where it's definitely the, some of it is information and exploration.
[00:45:06] And I think that's more of what the book of Thomas was about. Right? Like you said, Emily, personal exploration, the personal religion, as opposed to the set of what was put together, was the organized level of the religion.
[00:45:21] Don Early: Which we're going to get into.
[00:45:22] Emily Quann: oh, sorry.
[00:45:24] Don Early: I was just going to say, we're going to get into, because there's a reason. And there's a pretty good reason why it went, that it wasn't this sort of, we most control people kind of situation,
[00:45:34] Jeremy Spray: I agree with that. I don't think it started that
[00:45:35] Don Early: It did become that. But reason why these were sorta stamped with approval and like, no we need this is, is there's some pretty good reasons.
[00:45:46] What were you going to say? Emily
[00:45:47] Emily Quann: Oh, I was going to give one of the reasons.
[00:45:49] Well, they're, I mean, they're trying to recruit people over to this movement here and, and they were focused a lot on getting other Jewish people over. Well, the Jewish people had their temples, they had their synagogues, they, they were very organized and a lot of them were hesitant to leave that. That was such a focus of their lives. And, and there was a comfort in having that set routine. They, they know what they're doing, then they know where they go and to just be up rooted from that major focal point of their life to go to this new thing, they were trying to bring them over with, oh no, look, look, we have this too. We
[00:46:37] Don Early: Yeah. Yeah. Well, let's a side tangent then if you think about that, so we have Judaism who, which has these rituals every day, these, these rules and these, this way of life. Roman society and, and the Greek society had their own gods, had their own rituals, had their own, uh, again, uh, their own ways of being religious, but one says the other is real wrong.
[00:47:05] And maybe they both say the other is real wrong. I know, the point is, there's this new way of thinking, there's this new emergence, this Jesus person, who's putting things out there, saying these really profound things. But we need that ritual. How should we be? How do we behave? How do we be us as a people?
[00:47:26] Emily Quann: What are we allowed to eat?
[00:47:28] Don Early: are we allowed to eat?
[00:47:29] Emily Quann: Well, I mean, some very basic questions,
[00:47:33] Don Early: And the Gospel of Thomas is not concerned about that whatsoever.
[00:47:36] Emily Quann: at all.
[00:47:37] Don Early: So that's Thomas, there's a Gospel of Philip who said, and I'm going to paraphrase, "Do not become a Christian, become a Christ." You imagine the blaspheme that sends out through the ages, but the point is don't be a follower, be the Messiah. You be a Messiah, again, mind blown, finding enlightenment, be the example that you want to have exist in the world.
[00:48:10] Emily Quann: And again, I can see Jesus teaching that too. Be the example that, that you, you want others to follow. Right.
[00:48:19] Jeremy Spray: You talked about word translations. And, uh, one of the few things I studied when I studied the Koine Greek was going over John 3:16 and, and some of the words that were there, right. The interpretation that has common inside John 3:16 is no one can see God except through me. Right. Except through Christ. And that word "through" the Greek word that was used for that is also used for the word "as", or "is." And so if you read it in the other context, it says, no one will understand God, unless you do it as I do, or as me rather than through me. And I was like, that's a big deal. That's a massive change.
[00:49:03] Hey everyone. This is Jeremy. Uh, listen, I said something a little wrong here and I wanted to correct it real fast. 20 years ago, when I was in my evangelism class, we were studying the scripture, John 3:16, but I had misquoted it. I was putting different words to it. John 3:16 is actually this:
[00:49:26] " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
[00:49:34] And the word that I was attempting to reference was "in," it was "believes in him." That's a Greek word. That's spelled with an EIS. If it was an English translation. It could mean a lot of different things.
[00:49:47] It was used in this context as in or into, but there's a lot of ways it could have been used. And that was the one that we were referencing. The verse I actually quoted when I was trying to put the words to, it was actually John F uh, 14:6, I think, which is "I am the way the truth and the life. And no one comes to the father except through me." So if you got kind of a head scratch moment, cause I was completely misquoting verses you, weren't the only one. All right, thanks. Let's get back to the show.
[00:50:13] And I started reading it in other ways, and it was very much along that lines of ref, you know, there's reference back to Psalms, which talked about being the children of God.
[00:50:25] And it's not the children of God. It is the Godlings. The translation is godlings. Small gods. And so that you are, when we are made in God's image, there was not that we were made like him. We were gods. We were made as him with the same power of creation and same understanding. And so like, there was so much of this. I was like tearing up books and like they said this and this, and just writing lines as I was explaining to people. But you know, when I heard about the Gospel of Phillip at the same way, I was like, that's, that's that same
[00:50:54] Don Early: Yeah. Well, in other epistles, I, it eludes me right now. I, I don't recall if it's Paul or not, but it might be in one of the other epistles where, it says "be imitators of Christ."
[00:51:09] Emily Quann: Yeah. Definitely heard that before.
[00:51:11] Don Early: Yeah. So consistent in idea and thought here, some of it made it in some of it didn't
[00:51:18] Jeremy Spray: But when you need a church with a hierarchy, when people are so used to having a priest and a high priest and people are coming down to, then you don't include things like we're all the same and right. And we're all God ourselves.
[00:51:35] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:51:36] Jeremy Spray: Need to change that up.
[00:51:37] Don Early: Yeah. So obviously these didn't mesh because these early Christians needed, uh, they needed a blueprint for how to be a new religion and, and whatnot. So everything else, just gets rejected as heresy and, tradition gets formed around that. So, yay.
[00:51:52] Oh, uh, before we leave Thomas, we talked about the secret twin of Jesus's brother, right?
[00:52:00] Um, the gospel of Thomas opens with this notion that, it is a secret gospel, by Jesus's twin or secret twin. Well, the idea is that no, Jesus didn't have a twin brother. You the reader are Jesus' twin.
[00:52:21] Jeremy Spray: back back into that. Right. Be as God, you, you are what he is,
[00:52:27] Don Early: Yeah. Ah, it's just so good.
[00:52:29] Jeremy Spray: But like when you see that information, you're like, wow, that's really cool. yeah, that would never make it into a Bible of someone who's organizing religion.
[00:52:39] Don Early: Yeah.
[00:52:40] Jeremy Spray: Let's worship God, you are God. Worship you, wait.
[00:52:44] Don Early: Hey, hang on. That's right. Okay. Matthew, let's get into Matthew. We've not got into Matthew yet. This chapter is about Matthew.
[00:52:55] Jeremy Spray: whole process. We'll wait till we don't even get into the devil.
[00:52:59] Don Early: Yeah,
[00:53:00] Jeremy Spray: That was me this whole chapter. I was like, where's the devil part? And then I recognized like, Oh, wait a minute. No, no origin of Satan, which is adversary, not devil again. And I was like, I get into myself and still getting to the end of the chapter. I was, I was going through that.
[00:53:16] Don Early: Yeah. Yeah, because the devil's not character per se. The devil is an influence in this. So 70 C E Mark happens. There's this branch of Christianity that's happening. The temple is destroyed. The second temple was destroyed, the Romans quell, the, the Jewish uprising. We're done.
[00:53:41] Don Early: Well, we know about Jesus's followers through Mark, but what's going on with Judaism? Because there's a whole lot of Jews that were just crushed and their temple was destroyed. And so there is, this, uh, rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai who retreats to Rome and beseeches,
[00:54:08] Emily Quann: Vespasian?
[00:54:09] Don Early: Yes. Thank you. So essentially what he does is he establishes the theological way forward for Judaism under the permission of the Roman empire, so that they don't get killed again, and establishes rabbinical Judaism, where they no longer have the temple and they no longer have that, that central key focus. So instead they replaced the temple with the Torah
[00:54:39] Jeremy Spray: Mm,
[00:54:39] Don Early: Now the Torah is in your individual. The Torah's now your temple in your lives. And you can, you can take that with you. And so observance of the Torah is how we move forward. So this is moving along and the Pharisees are gaining, leadership.
[00:54:58] And, this is replacing the Sanhedrin. And so we get to about 80 CE and Matthew is butting heads with these Pharisees because the Pharisees are all about, this is how we be Jewish and how we, continue our identity and for Matthew and in Jesus is teaching, he sees a bunch of this as hypocritical bullshit of observance for the sake of observance sake, to a point of immorality, right? That you're, you were neglecting or causing injustice to people just so you can follow your fucking law.
[00:55:39] But it's because the Pharisees have gained all a huge, level of notoriety and trust and respect from the communities that Matthew has an uphill battle at this point to try and come up with things. So he's got to come out swinging and he does. And he puts in no uncertain terms how the Pharisees are supposed to read themselves in Matthew's gospel as agents of the devil.
[00:56:13] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[00:56:13] Don Early: And so for Matthew, we have Jesus who interprets the entire whole Torah in two commandments. You know what they are love your God, love your God, love your neighbor as yourself. The entire Torah. He's like, I got this I'm gonna, I'm gonna make this real simple for all you people out there.
[00:56:34] Emily Quann: Cliff notes version.
[00:56:35] Don Early: Yeah. Even the Gentiles could do this. There's an idea. The Gentiles are like, really?
[00:56:43] Jeremy Spray: I loved learning that the Gentiles, which confused me for so long as a kid is not a particular group of people. I just knew them as un-Jews. I didn't realize that the term Gentiles was the nations. It's the same thing, right? It's everyone that is not Jewish, but whenever someone is a Gentile, they are just simply of the nations of, of outside of us.
[00:57:05] Don Early: Which is how he ends his gospel, but we'll get to that.
[00:57:08] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[00:57:09] Don Early: So the Pharisee come out swinging of their own. They're like, okay. All right. Let's talk about your Jesus guy. All right, Jesus. It's clear. He has an illegitimate birth. Joseph is not his father. What's going on? Second, Mary and Joseph, you gotta be kidding me. These commoners from Nazareth.
[00:57:30] Emily Quann: There's no royal bloodline here.
[00:57:32] Don Early: This family is too common. There's no nobility whatsoever. And third, your own Mark, your own gospel writer come out and just completely confesses that Jesus has violated has no regard whatsoever to the Sabbath or kosher laws or anything.
[00:57:51] So they're building this case up and Matthew has got to come out and defend all that.
[00:57:57] Emily Quann: Yeah. He turns their arguments on, on their head basically.
[00:58:00] Don Early: On their head. Reverses it. A role reversal, a hundred percent. I had no idea. I had no idea that I could look at this gospel this way. It's so much better now. So where this gets to be key.
[00:58:14] Don Early: And I think you, uh, were we're picking up on this earlier when we talking about translation is that, Elaine Pagels and other scholars are saying that Matthew apparently knew the Septuagint. And the Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Okay. It's a translation. And as we said, translation is commentary. So Matthew's diving into scripture, looking for ways to back his arguments up. And he goes to Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14, where there is, a Hebrew term almah.
[00:58:54] I don't know if I'm pronouncing it right, but almah is referring to young woman giving birth to the upcoming Messiah, a very normal, natural birth by a young woman.
[00:59:12] Emily Quann: But.
[00:59:13] Don Early: The Septuagint translates this as parthenos meaning virgin, but parthenos does also mean maiden or young woman. But in Greek society, they used parthenos to describe the very virgin birth, miraculous birth of Julius Caesar. Virgin birth stories are not uncommon among the Greek Hellenized society to paint the pictures of very, very prominent, miraculous
[00:59:44] Emily Quann: These are very special people
[00:59:46] Don Early: Very special. And so Jesus has to have a very, very special birth, which was foretold in our Hebrew Bible Septuagint version.
[00:59:57] Emily Quann: Yep. So not just a young woman, it's now a virgin.
[01:00:01] Don Early: Right. So the birth is now a sign
[01:00:05] Emily Quann: Yeah. She's she's not just sleeping around on her husband and getting pregnant.
[01:00:12] Don Early: Yeah.
[01:00:12] Emily Quann: Now it's a miracle.
[01:00:13] Don Early: Yeah. It's a miracle foretold in Isaiah - renowned among prophets. And then Matthew revises Mark and says, no, no, God's Spirit doesn't descend on Jesus at his baptism. Now it's at his birth. This is a miracle that's happening.
[01:00:35] Emily Quann: Do you mean conception?
[01:00:37] Don Early: He is conceived by the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit. So Matthew writes this immaculate conception story, know, we hear every Christmas. So we've got the birth situation figured out. Not illegitimate. Very, very special birth.
[01:00:54] Don Early: Now we're going to hit the, uh, Jesus' lineage problem, which oh my god if you've read Matthew chapter one, aaaaggghhhh, SO MANY BEGETS!
[01:01:03] Jeremy Spray: But right you're absolutely right. It's horrible reading. But if you are starting the book of Matthew with the understanding that this is a massive proclamation: this is my thesis, behold. The history lines that I have gone through. Look at my footnotes, look at my bibliography it totally makes sense from that standpoint.
[01:01:27] Emily Quann: I have done my research folks.
[01:01:29] Don Early: Yep. And so he does Matthew digs through the Hebrew scriptures and lines out and spells it out for us, a genealogy for Jesus that goes all the way to Abraham by way of king David. And so now we have this Royal lineage. Now Luke does the same thing. Oddly enough, very different. Not the same genealogy.
[01:01:58] And if Luke came after Matthew, I'm not real understanding what's what he's going on with it. Maybe we'll get into that in the next chapter. That's a question I have. Why don't they match? It seems like they would, especially if Luke had access to Matthew, just the thought.
[01:02:12] Matthew's family story though... so now we've got his lineage figured out, but his story. So it's, well-known that Jesus comes from Nazareth. So what's that about? Well, we get a birth story in Bethlehem. He was born in Bethlehem, but he couldn't stay there because of Herod and Herod learned that the Messiah is going to get born. A new king is going to get born. So he's got to go out and kill all the babies. And so to escape from that, they've got a fleet of Egypt, so that they can be out of state when that happens. They eventually can come back and settle in Nazareth, but he was really born in Bethlehem. So we get this interesting narrative, but...
[01:03:02] Maybe I picked this up earlier and I just forgot, but the direct parallels to the Exodus story was stunning to me. As you said, Emily on its head. So we have Pharaoh, the new Pharaoh is Herod. Herod is Jewish the Judean king or ruler. The Jewish leader is ordering the murder of the first born male up to two years of age.
[01:03:33] This is what Pharaoh did. Pharaoh was a foreign, hostile nation who enslaved the Jews. So Herod is now Pharaoh. And then to escape Judea. The Promised Land where we are supposed to be safe. We have to escape there to Egypt where we were enslaved. Egypt is now a safe harbor.
[01:04:01] Just on its head. Jerusalem is now death. Judea is death. Egypt is life. And then on top of that, Jesus is now proven to be way more worthy of this kingly title than Herod. Jesus isn't going to go out there and murder a bunch of babies.
[01:04:23] Don Early: And then we get, we do get Satan, Matthew says, okay, I like your story, Mark, about Satan in the wilderness, but he doesn't have any lines. So let's, let's give him something to say.
[01:04:36] You just said
[01:04:37] Jeremy Spray: he was out there. That's that's it.
[01:04:38] Don Early: Yeah. Yeah. So he's like, oh, who should, who should Satan talk like? Ah, he should be the scribes. Them assholes like to debate. And they cite scripture like crazy. So Satan is this caricature of the Jewish scribes who are skilled debaters in quoting scripture.
[01:05:01] And he promises, Satan promises Jesus his entire kingdom. He says he owns this whole place. And he promises it to Jesus, if he would just, you know, bow down and worship. And so this is a dig at the Pharisees who apparently, you know, have their Roman patronage and, you know, just say, Hey, quit all this crap and you can join us.
[01:05:29] Jeremy Spray: Oh, again, like the same way I saw it. There is a, an entire narrative that gets added into the gospels and the way that we're taught them, the way that we see them. So to see it again, from the scholarly standpoint, it really does like open up the level of what is actually written, what the context really is rather than an entire pile of interpretations
[01:05:54] Don Early: Yeah,
[01:05:54] Jeremy Spray: what we want it to be, because that's, that can happen all over the place.
[01:05:58] Don Early: that's right.
[01:05:59] Emily Quann: Right. That whole other layer is provided. And then it just, very eyeopening.
[01:06:04] Don Early: Yeah. So the final argument, right? The obedience to the Torah, the Sabbath, kosher laws from Mark. Well you know, Matthew's Jesus, he goes out and says the Torah isn't strict enough.
[01:06:20] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[01:06:21] Don Early: You guys are half-assing it. My Jesus. He says, you know, the tourist says, don't murder. Well, my Jesus says, you can't get angry.
[01:06:32] Emily Quann: Yeah. You can't even call names.
[01:06:34] Don Early: You can't do name calling. There's no insults in my religion. Your Torah says don't commit adultery. Well, you can't even lust my religion. Your Torah says you shall not, but Jesus says you shall. So we're going to flip everything against this. What observations did you have on that?
[01:06:58] Jeremy Spray: The part that I was seeing the most from the whole counter end was very much I didn't see as much as the completely flipped over of, of the laws - Jesus being more strict, as I much as I saw it as the, your laws are impossible. Like, like you have, all of these things to do. Well, if you're going to not do adultery, don't lust. try that.
[01:07:20] Oh, okay. So, so don't murder. Great. Don't get angry. Don't even call names because if you do, that's still a sin, right? Look at your lust. That is still a sin. Eh, you might as well be doing it anyway. And that, that was very much how I saw was that, that pointing out that like everything that you say is a rule is impossible to follow even the way that it is. who's the real hypocrites.
[01:07:41] Don Early: Yeah.
[01:07:42] Jeremy Spray: Right.
[01:07:42] Don Early: I like that. I think that's a better way to look at it.
[01:07:45] Emily Quann: I liked your take a lot, Jeremy.
[01:07:48] Don Early: 'cause he says, you know, I came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. And how do you do that? So again, refuting. He's not out there trying to scrap the Torah. He's not trying to violate the kosher laws. He's just doing it differently and he's doing it better because he's catching it before it takes root,
[01:08:14] Jeremy Spray: Right? Yeah. And right. And then it comes back down to that referring back to itself of the, what the Torah really is. Love your God and love one another.
[01:08:23] Don Early: Already summarized right at the beginning. Yeah. So in response to all that, Matthew then zero-ins on the Pharisees as this evil brood of vipers and demonizes them and makes them the agents of Satan, whether they are aware of it or not. You know, these are the Jews that rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and they actually like actively sabotage Jesus' followers, you know, trying to cite all these things to say, you shouldn't be doing this. Well fuck them. That's that's Matthew, fuck them because even the Gentiles can follow this shit.
[01:09:11] But anyway, you get the idea, you know, they're saying we have stricter rules. Jesus was the most worthy king. He had a special birth but culminating in and we were kind of teasing on this before.
[01:09:26] Don Early: So Matthew goes through the resurrection, but what does he instruct? He what he says at the end, when he's resurrected, he tells his followers to go and make disciples of the nations of all nations.
[01:09:43] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. Go and make disciples of all nations. which are Gentiles, right? That's that's that translation.
[01:09:50] Don Early: This just, ah, it's such a big fuck you to the Pharisees to me. I don't know. Am I alone in that? It just in that context, it's like, we've been so against the nations for so long now.
[01:10:09] Jeremy Spray: Yeah. And, and right, you get the impression that they still are, that they're back to their rabbinical Judaism. And they're like, no, you have to be a Jew to be a Jew. And the only way you can be a chosen of God, one of God's chosen is to be this Jewish Jew and stick with your Torah and whatnot. And he's like, no, no, no.
[01:10:28] And that right. that, that's how I saw it as, as Matthew was very much like, you're wrong. Every single time. Everything you're talking about is wrong up to/and including the fact that Jesus said that everyone should be following these laws, not just the Jews. Everyone should follow his way. And right, and so go and make disciples of men of nations. That is, that is everybody else. That's not you,
[01:10:56] Don Early: Yeah.
[01:10:57] Jeremy Spray: Everyone that is not a Pharisee, they're the ones that will inherit the kingdom of heaven. Right. You can go into further conversations in there as well of some of the stories of Jesus and the talking and the way he spoke about how you pray and how you give, and all of those, all anti-pharisee,
[01:11:18] Every single time. It's not about do this so much as it's don't do what they do.
[01:11:24] Don Early: Yeah, because this way is better
[01:11:29] Jeremy Spray: Yeah.
[01:11:29] Don Early: Yeah, well, there's a ton we didn't cover I kind of feel like we summarized a fair bit of it.
[01:11:36] Emily Quann: Yeah, that's a good chapter summary.
[01:11:38] Don Early: The, the main points of it. Next time we will be getting a twofer. We're going to dive into Luke and John. Um, yeah. Uh, her title is Luke and John Claim Israel's Legacy: The Split Widens.
[01:11:58] Jeremy Spray: Bum bom bom!
[01:12:00] Don Early: Yeah.
[01:12:00] Jeremy Spray: It's still no devil.
[01:12:02] Don Early: Yeah. Well, that's it for today's episode.
[01:12:05] Jeremy Spray: Cool. Good to see everybody.
[01:12:06] Don Early: Yeah.
[01:12:07] Jeremy Spray: Thank you for the conversation. That was a good one.
[01:12:09] Emily Quann: Alright, thanks for listening.
[01:12:11] Jeremy Spray: This has been The Devil You Don't Know. Next episode, we'll be finishing up with the canonical gospels in chapter four, "Luke and John Claim Israel's Legacy: The Split Widens."
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[01:12:52] Hey, thank you all for listening. And remember the devil you don't know is the devil someone else does. Until the next time.