The Devil You Don't Know

BOOK: TOS - Chapter 4: The Gospels of Luke & John

May 25, 2022 Don Early Season 2 Episode 4
The Devil You Don't Know
BOOK: TOS - Chapter 4: The Gospels of Luke & John
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

You will never read the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John the same after this episode. We’re discussing Chapter 4: Luke & John Claim Israel’s Legacy in the book: The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics, by Elaine Pagels.

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Don Early:

I don't remember a single Jewish person growing up in Boise, Idaho in the eighties and nineties. In junior high or high school, I definitely remember reading Chaim Potok book, The Chosen. But that's as close as I got to Jewishness apart from what was in the Bible. Similarly, I never knew any neo-Nazis, which may be more surprising. Idaho has a bit of a reputation for neo-Nazis. But they typically lived farther north and the whole concept just sounded like a group of movie villains. It didn't seem real. But I did grow up with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. AKA LDS or Mormons. LDS listeners, I apologize for what I'm about to explain. It is the perception I remember growing up, which of course later with much more context and empathy, I would find absolutely preposterous, but here it goes anyway. A lot of my friends were LDS. And so it was my first serious girlfriend ever. My family wasn't Mormon. We were more "casually Christian," but "the Mormons", as those of us who were not LDS called them, were viewed with suspicion. A lot of people who weren't LDS considered the Mormon faith a cult, brainwashing, and primarily concerned with turning women into baby factories. The LDS church held secret weddings in their mysterious Temple to those who were worthy. No outsiders allowed. And when the LDS missionaries came to our door. We shut the curtains and hit on the floor as if we were under attack. We Othered our LDS neighbors, distrusted anyone in authority who was LDS because we casually thought that there was some secret Mormon agenda and they were trying to take over everything. We. They. We felt threatened by them. And I know the feeling was mutual. This is the closest thing I have to understanding the threats the gospel writers and Luke and John were facing and writing about. In today's episode, I hope you'll find a greater context than just the us versus them. The Devil quite literally is in the details. This is the Devil You Don't Know. Satan Satan.

Emily Quann:

When are you going to interview my friend, Matt from Useful Charts? Did that ever get solidified?

Don Early:

No, I

Emily Quann:

I thought you said you wanted to, and you were working on that. Oh, okay.

Don Early:

I don't know. I haven't figured out how to contact him. I did contact Religion for Breakfast and I joined his Patrion and contacted him directly. And he's he's in, we just haven't

Emily Quann:

Oh, okay. I thought I got those two reversed. I thought you wanted to get Henry still, but had gotten Matt, so, okay.

Don Early:

Yeah, but I would love to get Matt as well because he's amazing. I had so many YouTube links on this last episode. All right, well, Chapter Four, you guys, we're getting a twofer. This is Luke and John.

Emily Quann:

Yes,

Don Early:

And you know, frankly, um, I think, I think I'm ready just to put them together into one episode. I mean, I'm kind of getting real tired of gospels right now. I don't know about you.

Emily Quann:

No, I'm over them.

Don Early:

It's, it's the same damn story, but different

Emily Quann:

With a few different words here and there.

Don Early:

Yeah. And, uh, in this one, you know, it's Luke and John Inherit Israel's Legacy: The Split Widens. And what's going on there? I my thought was, or my takeaway was the farther you get away from the event of the actual execution crucifixion. Um,

Emily Quann:

The more anti-Semitic it becomes.

Don Early:

The more divided yeah. It gets, um, the more anti-Jew.

Jeremy Spray:

The more sympathetic to the Romans.

Don Early:

Yeah. So, I mean, with Luke, so I think like they do in the chapter. We'll talk about Luke first and then we'll switch over and hit John, um, in the face. Uh,

Jeremy Spray:

How's your God?

Don Early:

the God of light and life, whatever. We'll get to that in a second. So Luke Luke is the only non-Jewish author in the entire New Testament, apparently,

Jeremy Spray:

It's really interesting.

Don Early:

Certainly the only Gentile gospel writer. But so she, she, Elaine Pagels, uh, describes that Luke speaks for Gentile converts who consider themselves the "heirs of Israel." And I was, I saw a few posts on Facebook recently about these Christians who almost word for word said that, you know, that were the true Israelites or whatever. Ouch.

Emily Quann:

Oh, we know what you're searching on Facebook. If you're seeing lots of those. Don Early likes this.

Don Early:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm probably my, my algorithms all screwed up these days.

Emily Quann:

Sounds it. it

Don Early:

Yeah. So, um, I mean, I've got notes and stuff from the, from the chapter, but, initial thoughts, like what you think?

Jeremy Spray:

It was brought back around in the last part of the chapter. And I thought it was a real interesting kind of comparison. So since we're starting at Luke, I'll just bring up the pieces. When Luke was being written, there was this really clear kind of understanding, and that this is not going to be a religion or a following that is made up of Jews. And so the message had changed though, the ways the stories had been given had changed, the contexts of the stories had been changed because "the other nations," which is I still, I just find that to be fascinating, that Gentiles literally just means everything that's not a Jew. But the Gentiles, which are now being a follower of this and, and trying to follow this teachings of Jesus, you know, as this person now have to be... context, has to be added. There had to be things that were given in a common term rather than the straight lines

Don Early:

Yeah. Cause because the, the audience had changed.

Jeremy Spray:

The audience has changed. Right. And so their history and their understanding, I just found to be really an interesting take because I, I didn't know this before. Right. When I was taught it, it was just, all of everything is true. It's all true.

Emily Quann:

Oh, yeah, exactly. Same here.

Jeremy Spray:

Everything is completely true. And it's like, well, what about this part? I'm like, well, it's all true. Still. It's just different opinions. Right? So to, to recognize that his stories changed in the way that they were delivered, because the audience that they were being given to had changed.

Don Early:

Yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

really interesting and made sense.

Emily Quann:

When you were in church and it was like the festivities of, well, I mean all of holy week. Right. But do you, do you remember going to church and then acting out the passion or like reading it, having assigned

Don Early:

13 stations of the cross.

Emily Quann:

lines and stuff and yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

What? No. I was actual plays. I was, I was acting them out. You, you guys had, like what, what was the 13 stations of the cross? What was that?

Don Early:

Well, that's stolen from the Catholic Church. But on good Friday, oftentimes I don't know if that's what you're referring

Emily Quann:

yeah, yeah.

Don Early:

Yeah. So on good Friday, uh, the, uh, the Protestant denominations that have Catholic roots, you know, the, the liturgical Protestant

Emily Quann:

Yep. Martin Luther, like loved the ceremony and the tradition of the Catholic church. He just didn't like the belief. So, oh, for Lutherans, a lot of the ceremony,

Don Early:

a lot of the liturgy

Emily Quann:

the liturgy, exactly, is the same.

Don Early:

Yeah. So the 13 stations of the cross are these 13 events that, there's like a. I don't know an image or a painting or stained glass or something representing that particular station of the cross. And it's the progression through the passion narrative. And it just split up into 13 different events or, or what, I don't remember what they are. It's been,

Emily Quann:

So, so we read out like lines like there. Yeah. And so during service you're, if you were assigned a part, you would stand up and read your part. Um, but doing a, a close inspection of the gospels, like we have been doing in these chapters here, reading that, I would recognize immediately because we did this year after year after year. And it just became like an ingrained in your head, what these verses are

Don Early:

Mm.

Emily Quann:

What we were reading, and I don't know if this was your church also, but they had the certain lines from different gospels. They didn't just do it from one specific gospel. And I was just wondering how they went and picked and choosed. "Ooh, we like, we like this one from Matthew we're gonna put this in, we liked this one from Luke. We're going to put that line in" and stuff. And so w when I was reading all of these and just seeing the different wording that was used, especially, you know, "crucify him, crucify him" or the people who demanded that, uh, Jesus be crucified, and here's a Pilate looking innocent in one, and looking guilty in another, you know? Yeah. And just it blows my mind because when I was a kid, I didn't think anything of it. Um, I thought, oh, we're reading this. This is a gospel that we're reading and stuff. And now I can recognize, oh, they like chose different lines from the different gospels to put this all together. And, um,

Don Early:

Yeah. To tell this story,

Emily Quann:

And so it's, uh, it's such a different take depending on who you're reading, which might be why they put it all together in one. Um, but yeah, and as someone who loves history, I want to know what actually happened. I don't, I don't want these people are like, oh, let's tell the story, but let's, let's, let's make these people, the bad guys, because we want these people over here to like, come and join our group. And, you know, and I like now I'm kind of pissed. I, so we, we did the study. Yeah. We did the study of all four of these gospels and it's. What the hell, get the story straight. I want to know what happened. I don't want your like manipulation of events here. So anyway

Don Early:

Nope. I think you're tired. Your tirade is, is well-received because I feel

Emily Quann:

Was that a tirade? I didn't mean for that to be a tirade. Oh, is it going to have my tirade music? Are you gonna do that?

Don Early:

No, no, no. Cause you're on topic. So

Emily Quann:

I'm on topic. Okay. That's for once.

Don Early:

No. Jeremy, I just want to recognize that I see all the questions in your face, so I'm going to get to those.

Emily Quann:

I I'm blind as a bat so I can see no questions in your face at all.

Don Early:

But I think your point is well taken. I I'm, a hundred percent. That's exactly where I'm at with, I mean take the, the Christmas narrative. It's, you know, it's going to come up sooner than Easter now. So check that out. When you start, when you start listening or seeing the readings. Um, it does dawdle between Matthew and Luke. Um, and of course, Mark completely ignores the birth story because it wasn't important to him.

Emily Quann:

Right.

Don Early:

but I don't know. I mean, once again, Matthew was Jewish and was pissed off at the Jewish leaders and the chief priests and scribes, and Luke was a Gentile and needed to validate the same story,

Emily Quann:

Which I guess is why I had higher expectations for Luke kind of being more

Jeremy Spray:

you were the last one. You

Emily Quann:

kind of being more removed or not having a, I don't know. Not having his hat in the ring. I don't know. Not like not being so close to it? But no, pissed at him too.

Don Early:

That's fair. Jeremy let's circle around to you. W

Emily Quann:

What,

Don Early:

What's going through your brain?

Emily Quann:

What did I just bring up for you, Jeremy?

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah. Real interesting. I mean, you set up one of the first kind of real different ways that we grew up. When, when we started this, we talked about how we all grew up in the church and we all grew up with, with different things. But like, this is as I grew up, uh, Protestant light, like four square Protestant. And so there was a lot of the "Bible is the truth as it is." And there is you know, Vineyard Churches, and lots of, of, of big band dancing and, and lots of removal of anything that would have been ceremony. And, uh, my mom grew up Catholic. And so in her own level of, I still believe this, but I don't believe what my parents believe in. And that doesn't make sense. There was a lot of the anti-mysticism and, uh, in a, in a whole different set of context for that,

Don Early:

Which is really funny because look what, look what they developed instead.

Jeremy Spray:

Oh my God. Right. The whole, whole new level. Uh, but, but it really had that just kind of like, no, we're following just truth. We're not following traditions and, and particular items and an absence. Right, right. Like, you know, communion is a different thing. It's not always given by a priest and in like all of these different levels. And so I'm approaching Luke from that standpoint, right? From this level of, this was taken as truth. And I'm hearing so much of John come back. And so much of Luke come back in the different ways the story was being told and, and the, the crucifixion and the passion of the Christ and, and all, all that different levels. And hearing it again from this idea of what the audience is. Of, of who is supposed to be hearing this. And why is the story being told this way and recognizing repeatedly, because it was ingrained in my head for 20 damn years of like, this is the truth. This is, this was a person who was there and seeing the other side of it, I had, I had just different levels of thoughts going through. So I still now even hearing where you're coming from and the perspectives that you're bringing to it. I hear that there is this level of that's being put into that of why there was a constant re repetition, a constant hearing, a constant thought of this is how it is. This is how these people are and really setting up the others, the us and the thems that still was kind of derivative of the Christian movement.

Don Early:

Absolutely the, uh, again, it says the split widens here, and I think this is definitely we're talking about, my notes were that Jesus' Jewish enemies are aligned with the evil one, the power of darkness. So it's becoming more and more for Luke, the followers of Jesus, be they Gentile or Jew, if there are followers of Jesus, they are the true Israelites. They're the only ones left, you know, that really can claim that anymore. And anyone who rejects Jesus as Messiah and, you know, that sort of thing, is sort of aligning with the devil. You know, it's interesting that he also kind of notes, Luke I'm, I'm talking about reports that there were no animosity on the part of Herod or the, you know, Jerusalemites or whatnot towards the infant Jesus in the birth story, we didn't get that Exodus kill all the kids thing in Luke,

Jeremy Spray:

Also didn't get that, that contrast again. Right. That comparison of the, just like Pharaoh, just like Moses, right. That, that was being given to the, the Jewish context

Don Early:

Yeah, but we do get this really interesting, thing with the devil challenging Jesus right after his baptism. Right? So the devil challenges, Jesus, three times. Three times he's defeated. And then, as Pagels puts it, he departs until an opportune time. And those words, she, I feel like, spells out pretty clearly or as she kind of lays out an argument that that was such a very intentional wording that he went away for an opportune time. And then she comes back to it with Judas Iscariot, and, and brings those words up again until there was an opportunity to betray him until, you know, until the, the opportune time had come around at the crucifixion that sort of thing. So the devil is playing the long game in Luke, and humanity, is his pawns. He's arranging things as we go.

Emily Quann:

Wasn't one of the temptations or something like, Hey Jesus, I tempt you to go to this town where there's a whole bunch of people who want to kill you,

Don Early:

No. Uh, but we're going to get to that story, I think,

Emily Quann:

okay. I was like, that's hardly a temptation. You got to up your game a little bit.

Don Early:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, uh, she goes into the different temptations. There's three of them. And let's see here,

Emily Quann:

Or one of them was going into town and showing your powers as, as son of God.

Don Early:

right? Wasn't it all in the wilderness,

Emily Quann:

Oh, I didn't know if there was one where like, go show your powers to display your powers to people, to show them your son of God in this town where everybody wants to kill you or something like that. And it's just like, uh, how is that a temptation? That's an easy, no, thank you.

Don Early:

Yeah.

Emily Quann:

I didn't mark it down, but that was just a thought I had while I was reading.

Don Early:

You know, what, where, what I'm thinking of is in John, we'll get to that in John.

Emily Quann:

Oh, okay. I'm just, I didn't mean to jump ahead. I couldn't remember which one that was, but I was like, this is absurd.

Don Early:

Yeah, but you're not wrong. Um, you know, so, uh, because they all have this story where Jesus resists the temptation three times,

Emily Quann:

My point. That's not tempting.

Don Early:

Yeah. What, what they're tempting him with, right? Yeah.

Emily Quann:

Come on, Devil. You gotta do better than that.

Don Early:

So, I'd kind of forgotten this one. Uh, the Jesus is first published or public T uh, teaching. I dunno, I can't talk tonight. The

Emily Quann:

Mercury's in retrograde

Don Early:

Ah, that's what it was. Fucking Mercury.

Emily Quann:

Starting today, through June 3rd, somebody just sent me that and that's like, oh, that's why I've been stumbling over my words all day today.

Don Early:

Good of explanation is anything else in my opinion.

Emily Quann:

I mean, who knows?

Jeremy Spray:

Sorry for everyone listening to this podcast. Mercury's in retrograde. We're just going to mess up everything tonight.

Emily Quann:

Yeah.

Don Early:

Um, so Jesus is first teaching. He's going to teach in public and, you know, he relays that he starts telling this wonderful thing, you know, this, this teaching, and they're all amazed and they can't believe what they're hearing. And then he says, but it's also for the Gentiles, even if it replaces you. And then they try and throw him off of a cliff. I didn't remember that last part.

Jeremy Spray:

So much fury. Yep.

Don Early:

Yeah. Jesus now predicts that his towns people will reject him and declares that God intends to bring salvation to the Gentiles, even at the cost of bypassing Israel. And then they will, they are pissed off. And that seems to be the, the real big thing with Luke. I think where we get a lot of our modern concepts of Jesus being, like his followers are, he like pals around with the outcasts, right? With, um, the poor and the despised, the sick, prostitutes and the tax collectors and, the Sumerians or Samaritans, which I thought was kind of funny that, uh, later on we learn in this chapter that the Samaritans were really referred to as the "not real Jews,"

Emily Quann:

Yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

The fake Jews

Emily Quann:

yeah. The wannabes.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah, it's still, still Jews, right? Not those Gentiles, but like they're fake Jews.

Don Early:

Yeah. I wonder if that's like Jack Mormon, do you know that term?

Emily Quann:

What is this? An Idaho thing?

Don Early:

Neither of you know that term?

Emily Quann:

No,

Don Early:

Okay.

Emily Quann:

It's an Idaho thing.

Don Early:

Must be, an Idaho thing. I don't know, but no, it's, it's a Jack Mormon, to the rest of us non-Mormon people, was something that we, that, uh, we, well, I guess I did it at some point or another in life. We would call people who were Mormon, but not very Mormon. they, they associated themselves as being Mormon, but they drank alcohol. They, or maybe they didn't go to church or, you

Emily Quann:

I didn't know that there was a term for that.

Jeremy Spray:

Was it Jack Mormon because you're just like, oh yeah, I'm Mormon like last name, like my name is Jack Mormon.

Don Early:

I literally do not know where that comes from and it's probably pretty derogatory and it's probably a word that, or a term that shouldn't be used, should ask some

Jeremy Spray:

Some Mormons that may, we may or may not have talked to recently. They might know.

Don Early:

Yeah. What's behind that. That's, it's not a kind thing I think.

Emily Quann:

Well sure. The, it wouldn't be a kind thing. Well, it wouldn't be a kind thing to somebody who

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah,

Emily Quann:

here's that communication thing again,

Don Early:

Yeah, well, like, it's like, what's the Christian term for that.

Emily Quann:

To. Most of us?

Don Early:

There's not like a Jack Christian,

Emily Quann:

I

Don Early:

you know, or a kind of Christian or a, I mean, there's the, the terms for those who think that

Emily Quann:

every day, every day, Chris Christian, I don't know. I like what

Don Early:

I dunno. It's not important.

Emily Quann:

maybe Jack cause it's like, I dunno, got nothing.

Don Early:

I got nothing either.

Emily Quann:

Even if I had something, I wouldn't be able to communicate it to you.

Jeremy Spray:

Mercury.

Don Early:

Retro grade. Okay. So we've talked about. You know Jesus' followers. So she, she talks about that they were very deeply loyal to the Temple and she illustrates it through Luke that and really making the point Jesus' followers were real worthy, more so than say the, the Pharisees or the Jewish leaders or, or whatnot. Really trying to build up this case that Jesus's followers are the real God's people or whatever. The spiritual warfare between God and Satan now intensifies, and Jesus, is a divider. And so he says, it says, Just quoting on page 91 and 92, Jesus says, "Do not think that I've come to bring peace on earth. No, rather division from now on, in one house, there shall be five divided, three against two, and two against three. There will be divided or they will be divided father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother." But apparently not son against mother or daughter against father.

Emily Quann:

Hmm,

Jeremy Spray:

Didn't use all of the combinations.

Emily Quann:

These writers are just so lazy.

Don Early:

Now my gosh. I mean, if you're going to use numbers, let's figure this out. Huh? Use all the examples. Anyway. Point is, I mean, Jesus is saying I'm real controversial. This is not something that maybe Jesus actually said, or if it is, or that doesn't matter, this is what Luke says. Right? And so there's a, it's just interesting that he would have purposefully wrote that for Jesus to say. And maybe it's something that he said, he's being this again, I come back to this notion of, uh, Jesus being a Satan, being, uh, a diabolos a stumbling block for somebody else, right. A divider, uh, you know, it's interesting to me that a lot of the things that, Satanists that we have spoken with, how they champion Lucifer or Satan as the person who is the liberator, the, the person who stands up for those who can't defend themselves or, these despised and prostitutes and tax collectors and the sick and the poor, you know, it's, it's, it's kind of interesting parallels between the two.

Jeremy Spray:

I, I agree. No, I think that's that's I mean, you're right on point. Right? I don't have anything else that add to it, but I'm just kind of nodding verbally with you.

Don Early:

Yeah,

Emily Quann:

Yeah, I think I actually was nodding. People. Can't people can't hear me nodding. I was nodding. I was in agreement.

Don Early:

So we transitioned over to a question that she kind of starts to throw out is, did Luke have access to earlier or more accurate accounts of Jesus's trial and execution than the previous gospel writers

Emily Quann:

See and we get into this question about who, who wrote when and who was influenced by who? And again, we have no idea. There's just theories,

Don Early:

Yeah. And then, so she lays a lot of the, I don't think we need to go into

Emily Quann:

right? No,

Don Early:

you can.

Emily Quann:

That previous episode, but that's another thing that I'm mad that I don't have answers to.

Don Early:

Right. But to that point though, I am more and more convinced that, that Luke and John were at least contemporary. I, I, it's hard for me to. Just given what we've been learning and what we've been reading, it's hard for me to accept that Matthew and Luke were contemporaries. You know, it really does feel like Luke had time, and maybe was facing different ideas and definitely a little bit more of what John was facing, but from a Gentile, like John was, was dealing with being outcast, we'll get into this. He was being sort of, uh, ostracized from the Jewish community for being Christian, you know, cause he was a Jewish convert to Christianity his, he and his fellow Christians like Christians were facing that sort of ostracization will. On the other hand, then you have the whole Gentile side of the Jesus following, um, who didn't really have that to begin with. Um, and they are facing their own. And so it's hard to, I mean, obviously it's hard to nail down, but it does, it does feel more closer to John's time period or, or later as Marcus Borg suggests that Luke might even be significantly later, you know, 50 years later, uh, than John.

Jeremy Spray:

That's pretty interesting.

Don Early:

Yeah, but my, my struggle with that is then why didn't Luke use any of John?

Jeremy Spray:

Right. But the conversation I think, came up in the book a little bit in that the focus was so different. Right, right. Uh, Luke really had a particular message to particular people where as John's was really all about the theocratic level of it really had that the spiritual world and the spiritual combat. And it wasn't so much. You know, finding the division or the determining who was the right one. It was and we'll get into it, I think a little bit later on, but like really, how do you call people out without calling them out directly and getting yourself in trouble? You talk about all of the creatures inside of them. And like the demonic possession was strong inside John. You were either the right Jews or you're demon possessed. It's just, it was

Don Early:

Yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

There's a whole level.

Don Early:

Yeah. Well, it, it d and now that we're kind of talking about it, it does kind of sound to me, it would make sense that Luke, as a Gentile follower of Jesus would have been really inspired by Matthew's gospel and wanted to provide his version, from, from his perspective, but follow kind of a similar, vein. So, I dunno, it's... I'm with you, Emily, in that, the, the thing that bugs me the most as we are learning this and really getting the context of it is that they don't take the time in church to, paint this picture of

Emily Quann:

Not at all.

Don Early:

Maybe it's because there's not enough people that are interested in, they don't want to know this shit, but I don't understand how you can read this gospel and then still think it's the same thing in the, the next gospel.

Emily Quann:

There's they're so different. I had no idea they were so different. There's lots of similar words, but just the nuances on, on some of them. And granted, we're talking about translations here too. Like I at least, I mean, I think you've actually read the text, right? Because you, in, in their original, right.

Don Early:

Well, I mean,

Emily Quann:

Well,

Don Early:

We have the, uh, the Greek New Testament

Emily Quann:

So yeah, my point is I don't speak Greek,

Don Early:

right.

Emily Quann:

Hebrew,

Don Early:

I don't speak Hebrew.

Emily Quann:

I don't I I'm relying on English translations for all of this. So I, I don't, I gotta trust that the translators are doing the right words for the right things. And I know that there's

Don Early:

It's never perfect.

Emily Quann:

It's never perfect. And even now there's controversy about

Don Early:

yeah, because again, we brought it up, I think in the last episode that translation is commentary.

Emily Quann:

Exactly.

Don Early:

And you just can't get around that. and it's also because you know, the way you think and the way you think they thought, it, it, it can't translate all the, all the time.

Emily Quann:

Right. But it's, it's just, it's very different. The more I read and the more that I got from it and, and seeing by the time we get to John the Jewish people are, are basically evil. I mean, is, is

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah, against the Christians now.

Emily Quann:

like, I, just felt nauseous, but reading that and, and like, I just, I grew up hearing this, had no idea. But again, I'm also, I'm also doing a deep dive into this stuff right now, and I'm, I'm looking for this stuff now. That's the point of this, and so it's really sticking out to me and I just, I, I really, really don't like it.

Don Early:

Yeah. Uh it's uncomfortable.

Emily Quann:

It's really uncomfortable.

Don Early:

It is. Uh, but I think it's important to look at it and I think it would be unfair to say that John was antisemitic or that Luke was antisemitic.

Emily Quann:

Really?

Don Early:

Yeah, we're looking at it backwards through the lens of time and through the lens of all the atrocities and things and how people have used these passages for antisemitic purposes.

Emily Quann:

Okay. Yes. I agree with that. We are looking through it through that lens.

Don Early:

But when they're writing it, they, you know, it's, it's difficult, but they are facing their own issues. And I don't think we've gotten to the point where- they're not in power, so anti-Semitism can't really be too much of a thing yet. I mean, they can not like the Jews or they can kind of put them off a bit, but I mean, you gotta remember or Matthew, Mark and John are all Jews.

Emily Quann:

Yeah.

Don Early:

And Jesus was a Jew and all, I mean, so it's more complicated than seeing these anti-Jewish things. Yes. There's, there's contra-Jewishness going on, but I wouldn't call it anti-Semitism just yet.

Emily Quann:

I see what you're saying now.

Don Early:

Yeah.

Emily Quann:

I agree with that.

Don Early:

We are, we are definitely getting with Luke and, and John we're definitely, we've got some time, uh, that has happened. We're getting more and more use of this term, "the Jews," and she's, she spends a fair amount of time, really delineating that. I mean, they are used to say, okay, well, Jewish Jesus was Jewish. He was a Jew, but, but the author doesn't use it in a derogatory way. Just a way to describe who that was. Uh, they describe people who are also Jewish that's you, you know, those terms are used in the New Testament as well. But as we get into Luke and John, we are also getting this nuanced, "the Jews" as a targeted group of people who were against Jesus.

Emily Quann:

It's just this, this vibe through the whole thing. It's just, it's, it's there, it's under the surface and that's what I was getting from it reading that.

Don Early:

Yeah.

Emily Quann:

Um, and it was, it was just, yeah, the divide is growing.

Don Early:

I never saw this before either.

Emily Quann:

They're creating the divide.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah, That's I mean, that's kind of the thought, right? That's the processes. There was the, where, when, when you looked at Matthew trying to tell the stories and again, who the message was to, by the time Luke and John are there, they're like, "So they've messed up. All of them. They're not doing it anymore. These are the real people. These are the real believers, the real followers. Therefore, they've got demons, they've been seduced by the dark side. They're agents of the dark side. We're not. We're agents of the light." And it. really did to like, drive that wedge. That was, that was a big part of what the books were.

Emily Quann:

Yeah. So it's just kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Where, where there's a wedge here and we're going to write about it, point out how horrible this is and make the, the divide even, even bigger.

Don Early:

Yeah.

Emily Quann:

And we're just going to keep that divide going, because we're just going to keep writing about it and, and painting these people over here in a terrible light.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah.

Emily Quann:

And, um, yeah, it's icky.

Don Early:

A lot of the reasons though, is that, uh, this budding faith still trying to discover what it is. There's a ton of different sects and cults of Jesus that are out there trying to figure out how to be a community. And they're gettin' stomped by the dominant religions and you know, and those who are in power. So there's this animosity and resentment that's just growing and growing because the other thing is that, you know, to them, Jesus was the Messiah is, is the divine being that was killed.

Emily Quann:

Right. And why wouldn't you be upset at the other side?

Don Early:

And if he was this holy being then yeah.

Emily Quann:

And I guess just living in today's world with everything that's going on in the world right now, I just want to scream at these texts. Just,

Jeremy Spray:

Right.

Emily Quann:

Just let each other be! Leave each other alone!

Jeremy Spray:

And I, I can't imagine there was ever. A time when they were written that they would have any understanding or knowledge of the impact that they would have literally thousands of years later and what it would have done in the world. I, I I gotta imagine they would've changed a couple of things if they knew.

Don Early:

Yeah.

Emily Quann:

Yeah. Just why can't we all just get along?

Don Early:

Because some of us hold the truth and the rest of everybody holds the lie. That's why

Emily Quann:

Yeah.

Don Early:

Just reality-shaping bullshit. That's right. We're getting towards the end of, of Luke here. Pilate we get to Pilate um, he tries to exonerate Jesus, like three times. He pronounces him innocent three times.

Jeremy Spray:

I kept loving how Pilate changes. Like every one of these books, like Pilates, just a little different,

Emily Quann:

Yeah. Who do we have? Who do we have this time? Who knows?

Don Early:

That's right. Yeah. But still shaping it more and more into this, well Pilate's real reluctant, he's the Roman person going to have to charge Jesus with the official charge.

Emily Quann:

Well, I guess I have to.

Don Early:

So it's pretty clear that this gospel reveals that Luke knew that Jesus was executed by Roman authorities and the charge was sedition. The author had access to to official records, is what she's going off of and is constructing the narrative around that to fit those facts.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah. She mentioned that, that, that Luke probably also had some records that the others didn't have. And so he was very, very particular about the things that he had said,

Don Early:

it makes a lot of sense. Cause he was a physician. He was very intelligent. And I will tell you that it is the nicest Greek to read in the New Testament.

Jeremy Spray:

I believe that.

Don Early:

It's very eloquent. Uh, whereas Paul... Paul keeps you guessing.

Emily Quann:

Oh, my husband can't. My husband can't stand Paul.

Don Early:

There are a lot of, lots of reasons for and against, uh, for sure. So, uh, on page 96 I wanted to read this passage, we're just talking about how Luke knew that Romans had actually pronounced sentence, Yet as Luke tells the story he allows and perhaps even wants the reader, especially one unfamiliar with the other accounts, to infer that after the Jews had arrested Jesus and a Jewish court had sentenced him to death, it was the Jewish soldiers who actually crucified him, not the Roman soldiers.

Jeremy Spray:

Uh,

Don Early:

Yeah. So Jesus demonstrates trust and submission to God rather than the agony. Luke removes all that

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah, So the whole passion part out of that, right? Yeah.

Don Early:

Yeah. And even on the cross you got the two robbers or whatnot, and one of them is antagonizing and the other one is like, Hey, uh, save me, would you?

Emily Quann:

Yeah.

Don Early:

And so even dying on the cross, Lukes, Jesus demonstrates the power to forgive and to save even then, to a, nobody, even a criminal can recognize Jesus's divinity. You know, so for Luke, these are, these are big things. And then in Acts we really submit, or, you know, uh, solidify, this term, "the Jews," right, as the real reason Jesus was crucified and paints a well-meaning weakling in Pilate. In summary, those who reject Jesus accomplish Satan's work on earth.

Jeremy Spray:

Right. That was an interesting summary that came out of Luke, but it was like, so much more hammered with John.

Don Early:

Oh yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

I had to go back a little bit and like, whoa, wait, did we just switch? Because, cause that was, that was a quick summary of like, Satan's work is happening on earth because of the things that happened to Christ. But like John like took it that extra step. Not only was, was Satan doing his work, but he was the, the actual, antagonist to Christ, but, but not in an incarnate form other than doing it through other people. And I, I just like over and over again, you're like, oh, they're possessed. Oh no, now they're possessed or I possessed him.

Don Early:

Yeah, that's an interesting point though. I didn't think of that. That could be an argument Luke had access to John.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah, that's, that's a good point because it was John that really said that, that, that was his big deal.

Don Early:

Yeah, let's get into John. And so John and his fellow Christians have been forcibly expelled from synagogues and denied participation in common worship, at least that's, that seems to be the claim or the sting, the pain that John is writing from. Many have pointed out that John's gospel, as you've seen throughout history has really been the source of a lot of, uh, antisemitism or, or, in inspiration... Look no further than the Mel Gibson Passion of the Christ.

Jeremy Spray:

Oh, my God. Yeah. Villainizing being a Jew.

Don Early:

Oh yeah.

Emily Quann:

I never watched it.

Jeremy Spray:

You're not missing out.

Don Early:

It's not good. I nearly walked out when Jesus started speaking Latin.

Emily Quann:

What? I'm sorry, what?

Jeremy Spray:

That's a good one sentence story right there.

Don Early:

Really don't think Jesus learned Latin. I'll give him Aramaic and Hebrew. Those two, but

Jeremy Spray:

Sure.

Don Early:

I don't know that he would have had access to the others. So John is a Jewish convert to Christianity. That is the scholars general consensus. And he paints this real interesting picture. In one explosive scene, Jesus accuses the Jews of trying to kill him saying "you are of your father, the devil," and the Jews retaliate by accusing Jesus of being a Samaritan, that is, not a real Jew. And himself demon possessed or, quote insane.

Jeremy Spray:

Here's the first one.

Don Early:

Here we are. Let's just, so, you know, there's a lot of setup here, but what's interesting is that Lewis Martin, a New Testament scholar, talks about that, uh, John's crisis or his community is the invention of this curse. What he refers to as the "benediction of the heretics." And he gives the, Hebrew word for it. I don't know if I should try and pronounce it. Birkat ha-minim, not sure. It's a self-inflicting curse. If you were a follower, if you're a Christian and you were in this service, you start the service off by cursing yourself for being a Christian, and your descendants. I mean, it's this, you know, so, so that, that's pretty bad obviously. That's one of the things that John is, is, facing with in, in dealing with, um, his, uh, what's the word, retro grade,

Emily Quann:

Mercury!

Don Early:

Uh, resentment, resentments,

Emily Quann:

Mercury's in retrograde in Gemini and it's a shit storm. I know nothing about astrology. I just have to tell everybody I know zero about astrology, except that somebody just before we recorded this sent me an article that I happened to read. I promise you that is all I know. And apparently Mercury in retrograde is a big thing. So it's a big, bad thing, I guess, but it it's totally fucks up communication. That's that's, that's what I read. It must be true. Well, I mean, look at the three of us or at least Don and I, Jeremy, you seem to be doing fine.

Jeremy Spray:

I'm just riding the wave. I'm just staying quiet when every chance I get. And so I can only say the one thing here and there.

Emily Quann:

You're immune. What are these powers you have?

Jeremy Spray:

Scorpio.

Emily Quann:

It's like, well, let's see, I am a Gemini. This, this thing has me totally screwed up. Oh shit. You're going to do the music.

Don Early:

Yep.

Emily Quann:

Fuck.

Don Early:

No, you're off topic.

Emily Quann:

I was doing so good.

Jeremy Spray:

We're just staying quiet for a reason.

Emily Quann:

You guys have to interrupt me.

Don Early:

Why when we get gold like?

Emily Quann:

This is not gold. Just showing that I need more hours of sleep at night.

Don Early:

I hear that. So let's get back. All right. So, uh, Pagels actually goes on to talk about that. John is actually facing something even worse than this curse that we're talking about. They're actually excluding Jesus's followers, preventing them from worshiping alongside fellow Jews. If you are a Jewish convert, you were a Jew now you were a new Jewish Christian, you have all this history and tradition and everything that you're used to and your way of life. And now that is all forbidden. You are barred from that. You're kicked out, excommunicated, whatever you want to call it. And so that's a pain that he is writing from him. So he takes it, cosmic. John goes cosmic in this, uh, conflict with Jesus, his story. So Mark starts, the whole thing with Jesus' baptism. And then he's often running. Matthew goes, well, I think it's probably when he was born, let's go back to that Moses and Pharaoh story. And we'll, we'll truss that up. And, and Luke's like, yeah, I like the birth story. That's cool. But John's like fucking Genesis! Creation of the universe, motherfuckers. This is this predates everything that we're talking about, the primordial light and darkness and Jesus is the light So we have, another thing that is really interesting to me is we have light, truth, and life against darkness, lies, and death. And these have to be just universal the ancient world, uh, because light and truth were real big with the Zoroastrians. But I was going back in and looking into this because I have a hard-on for Zoroastrians, apparently. Everything's from Zoria Zoroastrians, you know, Zarathrusta which I still can't say. But, Egypt. Had a very similar feeling about light and truth. And, and so, uh, you know, in the, in, in the ancient world, this may have, you know, light and truth and goodness, or maybe goodness wasn't necessarily a part of it. But light and truth and life were, were on one side and and darkness and the lie was on the other side. And so, you know, Ahriman or the Angra Mainyu was the embodiment of the lie, um, and lying was terrible for the Egyptians as well. So I keep trying to shove it back to the Zoroastrians, but I'm thinking it's more of a larger broadly understood, concept.

Jeremy Spray:

all fairness though like, back to what John's original message was, right? Like that's a big part of it. It's it's the, it's the setting up the, well, truly it's the setting up the big us versus them. And so he was creating that level of context that are really hard line of the followers of Christ and not followers of Christ or specifically antagonists of Christ it with, with the liars and the darkness and demons. And right the possession and all of that. It was just a big part of the way he used the language. So having that kind of connection, having that, I don't even wanna call it universal, but, but an easily understood reference of the light versus dark. And, and the Zoroastrianism that, that has been around by this point late, like, like it isn't, as an understood thought really allows him to connect to his audience in that other way. And in that way of setting up the, "Well, I don't know what your Jesus is. I don't know what, what the Pharisees are all talking about." It's like, "well, do you know, light and dark, do you know, light that, you know, what light is versus evil and what lies are? That them, these are us." Like really, really creating that separation for his audience I think.

Don Early:

I mean, what a hook, what a sales pitch. Right? And that's what this is all about. Is, how do you appeal to the broadest audience for the urgent, most urgent need, or create the most urgent need? You know? That's a really good summary, Jeremy. I like that.

Jeremy Spray:

Thanks.

Emily Quann:

Me too.

Don Early:

Yeah, so like you said, then that means light equals Jesus and darkness is anything that's, I like what you said, anti-Jesus. Against Jesus. Not just, not Jesus. It's, you know, you can have not Christians, but really it's these people who were actively against the Christians that are the agents of darkness, the sons of darkness.

Jeremy Spray:

Totally agree.

Don Early:

And as cosmic and everything as it is I never paid attention to the fact that the devil doesn't make a bodily appearance in this gospel, really. The devil does not appear as a separate disembodied entity or being. Rather, as you stated, Jeremy, people take on the Devil's roles. That, the devil shows up and and other figures or other stories, but the people take on his role instead. And this is the, temptations that we were talking about, uh, Emily. So there is the three temptations and starting on page 101, she starts breaking out that in Gospel of John people replace the devil in the temptation stories. So instead of the devil saying, do this, it's a group of people saying that instead. I thought it was really interesting. For example, Matthew and Luke show Satan challenging Jesus to claim earthly power, but according to John, this challenge occurs when the people were about to come and take him by force to make him king, like you're our king.

Emily Quann:

Hm.

Don Early:

He resists the temptation.

Jeremy Spray:

Which was, which in my mind was part of where the, uh, the Luke reference came from. Right there. There was the whole, being declared and end the Psalm Sunday. And, and, you know, if the rocks would cry out if the people didn't do it for me. That, that, that was what I was interpreting as that temptation in the wilderness of go to the city where the people would try to kill you. It was go to the city to be declared king and, and, and to be ruler of the of this land and in his temptation was, uh, against the pride of, of that, of, of being celebrated as the person. But, but switched interpretations again.

Don Early:

Yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

That's that's, that's where I was getting

Don Early:

Got it. Yeah, that makes sense. So, you know, Jesus escapes like, like a super villain or something. In another temptation, Matthew and Luke, following Q, relate that the devil challenges Jesus to prove his divine authority by making these stones into bread. And she goes on to say, but John says that those who witnessed Jesus' miracles and in particular, the multiplication of five loaves into many, then challenge him to perform another miracle as further proof of his messianic identity. And like the devil who's quoted the scriptures in Luke and Matthew, the people in John quote them as they urge Jesus to produce bread miraculously. In chapter six, verse 30 and 31: "So they said to him, what sign do you do that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our father's ate mana in the wilderness, as it is written, he gave them bread from heaven to eat." And so Jesus resists this temptation as well. I'm not going to go on for the rest of them, but the point being is we he's grabbing those parallels, but he's making groups of people do it. I think I like better than this diabolical singular being, Well, hear me out because it's more realistic. Mob mentality, group mentality exists. It's a thing. And, and, the other thing, you know, it's just, it's so human, I think that you just saw something amazing and they're saying, do it again.

Jeremy Spray:

Correct.

Emily Quann:

Yeah, totally.

Don Early:

We don't believe it. Do it again!

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah. That's valid. Then, there's a part of me though that, like, I think it, it makes sense again, from the storytelling standpoint I write and the audience that, that he's speaking to. Personal desires as I really wish there was an actual person villain instead, because the way this is written in the way that it's done is that the devil acted through the mob because they let him, because they were the, the, the sons of Satan and, and, and they allowed themselves to be possessed because they were the opposites and it just, it really creates that picture of the divide, right? That, again, that, that level, that like you have Christians who follow Jesus Christ, and then you have the Jews, who are not Christians and enemies of Christ. And, and right. And, and we already talked about this earlier, but like that's part of where that other-ism that separation came from. Whereas if you had Christians and you had the devil, this one guy who was fighting everybody, like, cool, let's go fight that asshole rather than this group of people that, uh, right. If I could have done it differently 2000 years ago, that's my edits would have made that

Don Early:

How it should have ended, by Jeremy Spray.

Jeremy Spray:

That's right.

Don Early:

Yeah, the story standpoint, that makes a lot of sense and what a difference that would have made. If that delineation of a, existential figure, a supernatural figure, you know, whatever, this, this principle of evil as a targeted external force. I mean, we still get that, but as, as you said very well that anybody who is against you, the reader or the followers of these, willingly gave themselves up to the devil. And those implications are terrible.

Emily Quann:

Yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah.

Don Early:

This is where we get all these atrocities. I guess this is where that term, the Jews, gets really cemented as, referring to a group of people that are against Jesus, more and more. John associates Satan with a specific human opposition, first in Judas Iscariot, Satan goes into, the devil goes into Judas Iscariot in order to, you know, do the betrayal thing. The Jewish authorities who are clearly plotting against Jesus. And then the Jews collectively. And everyone who opposes Jesus, or contributed to his destruction and you know deny his divinity or Messiah, they are in service of the evil one.

Emily Quann:

Right.

Don Early:

I just feel like this, this chapter hit that particular note between Luke and John, pretty hard.

Emily Quann:

Yeah.

Jeremy Spray:

I agree. I think that's, that's one of the biggest reasons that like both of these chapters where it combined for this one is there's that really, really solid connection right there.

Don Early:

Yeah, it's very similar.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah.

Don Early:

Um, and as we said, uh, well, it was interesting. So with Pilate, we talked about the further away from history we get to the actual historical person, the more sympathetic character he becomes,

Emily Quann:

Hmm.

Don Early:

Conversely the more revoo removed from history, the more antagonistic the Jews quote/ unquote become. They become increasingly more antagonistic. So you have this sort of inverse thing going on between Pilate and the Jews.

Emily Quann:

Yeah, they're painted in a terrible light.

Don Early:

Yeah, well, I have no better summary than the one written on page 111. So I'm just going to read it. "Writing circa 100 CE John dismisses the device of the devil as an independent supernatural character, if indeed he knew of it, as I suspect he did. Instead John tells the story, Satan, like God himself appears incarnate. First and Judas Iscariot. Then in the Jewish authorities, as they mount, opposition to Jesus. And finally, in those John calls, quote unquote, the Jews, a group, he sometimes characterizes as Satan's allies now as separate from Jesus and his followers as darkness is from light or the forces of hell from the armies of heaven."

Emily Quann:

Well, they're eco. There you go.

Jeremy Spray:

Now it is a spiritual warfare.

Don Early:

It is. Even still, I think one of the things sort of jumped out at me is, I mean, John is very big into "the word was made flesh and dwelt among us." You know? I mean, this is all, Jesus is the light and the life. And, you know, he is God incarnate, you know, his divinity incarnate. Well, it never occurred to me that he did the same thing with the devil. But with the devil, it's not one person. It's a bunch of people.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah. Right

Don Early:

The devil is incarnate in many others,

Jeremy Spray:

And the tempters and the mob the, the, the, the, those who do doubt him. And he didn't even call out the Pharisees, but, but, but The leaders and the Pharisees against same, same kind of deal, the opposition.

Don Early:

And we're done with the gospels

Jeremy Spray:

We're out.

Don Early:

We're out.

Jeremy Spray:

We don't have to repeat the same story again.

Emily Quann:

Yay.

Don Early:

Come back to it, but yeah. So, two more chapters and a conclusion coming up.

Jeremy Spray:

Cool.

Emily Quann:

Are we over half done with the book now?

Don Early:

Yes, we are over half done. Yeah. So, uh, next chapter is chapter five: Satan's Earthly Kingdom Christians Against Pagans.

Jeremy Spray:

Oh man. I didn't even bring that part up. I wanted to, I thought that was such an amazing topic. And I think the reason I didn't bring it up is because I started the next chapter, like in the first 10 minutes. And I was like, WHAT? Like, so here's the thing. Christians were being persecuted for being, I love this. I want to say it again. Christians were persecuted for being atheist. And that was a, that was a major persecution that came on the Christians was for being atheists against the pagan gods. And I was like, I never thought of it like that. It's like the idea that you do not follow our gods and you don't believe in our gods, therefore you don't exist and we're going to knock you out. And I was like, Ooh, atheist have always been persecuted even when they were Christians. Like, it was so amazing. So yeah, I started the chapter. So I think we'll bring that up in the next one.

Don Early:

That's awesome. Well, and too, uh, so you were talking about how the Gentiles were referred to as everything. That's not Jewish. Right. So then we get pagans. And pagans become the term that's everything that's, not Christian.

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah. Right. That's that's, that's certainly how it's been turned now.

Don Early:

Yeah. Yeah. So awesome guys. We'll uh, yeah, chapter five coming up, against the pagans thing. Ding, ding. Who's got the money on what,

Jeremy Spray:

We'll see how it turns out, I guess.

Don Early:

Unfortunately we know who comes out on top. I never have the, the ending, the capstone, the sort of sendoff. Jeremy help me out. You lead these

Jeremy Spray:

Yeah. I mean, I can do it all the time. So, so to, to wrap up, uh, that was a lot of the spiritual concepts of what the devil was, who the devil was a part of or the way it was determined, and in the next one, we'll talk about the battle Royale of paganism versus Christianity and who the real atheists were.

Emily Quann:

I'm excited.

Don Early:

Man, there's no way I could have said that better. Way to read ahead, Jeremy,

Emily Quann:

Overachiever.

Don Early:

You win the day on that one. All right, folks. Good night.

Jeremy Spray:

See you guys.

Emily Quann:

Goodnight.

Don Early:

This has been The Devil You Don't Know, and we are done with the gospels. Up next, we begin our look at Chapter Five, Satan's Earthly Kingdom: Christians Against the Pagans. So a suit up for that one. I've got some extra material for that actually, from the Jeffrey Burton Russell book. So might be a two-parter episode. Stay tuned for that. If you were enjoying this podcast, please consider joining our Patreon at patreon.com/thedevilpodcast. As a contributor, you get access to our episodes before they release bonus content. Uh, you get to discuss future episode ideas and more. And the money we raised not only goes towards our monthly costs of the show, which I just tallied up and I have some thinking to do. But also helps raise money to have on prominent guests like scholars. Who write like books and stuff. Don't forget to rate us and leave a review on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser links are in the episode description. Thank you all for listening. And remember the devil you don't know is the devil someone else does. Until next time.

BOOK: TOS - Chapter 4: Luke & John
13 Stations of the Cross
Jeremy On Our Religious Background Differences
The Split Widens in Luke
Mercury's in Retrograde
The Samaritans & Jack Mormons?
Jesus as a Satan?
Debating Luke's Timeline
The Trouble With Translations
Antisemitism & John
Summary Concerning Luke
John's Problem
Another Retrograde
Light/Truth/Life vs Dark/Lie/Death
The Devil's Role and Temptations in John's Gospel
Chapter Summary