Jesus’ last name was. . .?

Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…Not “Christ“.

“…an angel…appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David,… Mary…your wife…is conceived…from the Holy Spirit…. You are to give him the name “Jesus”, because he will save his people from their sins.'” (MT 1.20-20

Jesus’ last name most likely was “…son of Joseph, the wood-worker of Nazareth”.  Very possibly Jesus’ name in the original language of Jesus’ birth was: “Yeshua bar-Yosef, tekton”. Wait for it, wait for it…we’ll take a look at the name: “Christ” a little later.

Let’s back into making an effort to understand the name of  “Jesus”. The word that translates into English as “worker-of-wood” (tekton) has other possible definitions,  It allows for: “carpenter”, “ship-builder/ carpenter”, “worker-in-wood”, “carver-of-wood”, or “one-who-whittles-wood”. Such differences in definition allow for some scholars to denigrate Jesus by saying something like: “Well he just whittled wood of no importance any more than  tent pegs or children’s toys.” Personally, I cannot hold with such an appraisal. I think that Jesus in his young life was a carpenter – a builder of new boats and possibly a re-builder of old and/ or broken boats. To me this definition is most likely. The idea is important for understanding why Jesus chose the first apostles chosen.

This notion of mine helps me to understand why Jesus picked fishermen, rather than say vineyard workers, as his first apostles. If Jesus was a boat-builder, he would have known fishermen, possibly as intimate friends. That idea makes better sense to me than to think that Jesus just happened to be walking down by the lake one day when he decided that dirty, stinky fishermen would make great apostles, even if he did have divine guidance.

Now, as foretold, to the matter of just a smidgen of non-systematic Christology. The Christ is much, much more than the man Jesus. The Christ has his total being in the essence of God. The Christ was in the beginning. Christ is now. Christ will be after the end of everything we know. Science fiction, if not science itself, talks about there being a barrier at the end of space. Christ is with God beyond that barrier. Science proclaims that the universe began with a big bang. Pay very close attention to the pronunciation of any word you choose. That word begins with an explosion – a “big bang”.

Many, many Christians say, and believe, that the word “Christ” means Savior. Others say that translated “Christ” means “The Anointed One“. I can’t help it, to me “Christ” means “Savior” even though intellectually I know that the word “Christ” comes from the Greek word “Christos” or “the anointed one”. I believe that Jesus came into his full Christ-likeness when he was anointed by his cousin John (the baptizer/ baptist) in the Jordan and more especially when the dove of the Holy Spirited alighted on Jesus. Yes, yes I know Jesus performed a few miracles before his baptism. My contention is that these miracles were on the same level as the miracles performed by almost any of the prophets. Even Judaism and Islam acknowledge Jesus as a prophet. Thus, he was able to do a few rather “minor” miracles. I also propose that it was at his baptism (anointing) that Jesus became fully Christ. It was then that GOD pronounced Jesus to be GOD’s “beloved son”. It was then that the white dove of the Holy Spirit alighted on Jesus.

I have read some small smattering of the scholar that writes that “Christ” was poorly transfigured from the word “chrEst” (my cap “E”) meaning “good”. Therefore Jesus very often needed to tell people that only God was “good” or “chrest”.

We now have the word “Jesus”. Everyone knows that the word “Jesus” is more appropriately the word “Joshua.” Many people do not understand that the word “Joshua” means “Salvation” or “he saves”.

So, for me at least, “Christ” is not the last name of Jesus; neither is it the most important part of the name of the immaculate Son of God.

Loving and Almighty God, We give You our glory, honor, and praise that You’ve given us new knowledge about the name of Your Son, our Savior. We thank You that we have minds able to understand just a little bit of the knowledge about Jesus that so many of his followers knew how to interpret and understand so long ago. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Christianity: Exclusive/ Inclusive Club – Part 3

(This is the last post of a three-part post)

“Go make disciples of all nations.”

(Matthew 28.19 NIV)

Christianity is supposedly an inclusive religion. In the first post we took a brief look at how this commandment was enacted. In the second post we took a brief look at how Christianity was becoming an exclusive club often open to only a few who shared the same belief systems within Christianity. Even though this saga continues in this day we will stop our discussion with this post.

In the 1050’s the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches have split their different ways. Since God’scandy is a blog of the western hemisphere, we will look after the Roman Catholic Church. Note, though, that Christianity can no longer think of itself as an “inclusive religion” after this point.

Possibly the first step in separating lesser-than Christians from the “true believers” was with The Spanish Inquisition starting in the 1470’s (and lasting to the 1830’s).

Within 50 years the Roman Catholics again had major trouble in their ranks. The Roman Catholic Priest Martin Luther decided he could no longer toe-the-line of church politics. In the 1510’s Luther touched off what became the Protestant Reformation creating the split between Roman Catholic and Protestants. In the early 1530’s England’s King Henry VIII decided he could no longer tolerate Papal authority. He, therefore, formed the Anglican (Church of England) Church.

One hundred years later, in the 1630’s the Puritans, having tried their hand at church authority in England, were ostracized from the church. They sailed for the colonies in North America where they set up shop again.

Since the time of the Puritans we have seen many different denominations come into existence. Probably, in my opinion, the most devastation to Christianity in more modern times has been the rise of televangelism and mega-churches. In most of these styled “churches” there is hardly anything said about God to say nothing of Jesus Christ.  The emphasis in most of these “churches” is on “if you feel good in doing it, well, then….”

It seems that we find it much easier to fight over what we perceive to be the exclusiveness of Christ than it is to worship Jesus, the Son of God.

 Loving and Caring God,

Thank You for the ministry and mystery of Your Son Jesus, the Christ.

Create in us clean hearts, minds and especially spirits that we will no longer war over how to worship him and You.

Amen.

Christianity: Exclusive/ Inclusive Club (Part Deux)

(This is the second of a three-part post.)

“Go…make disciples of all  nations

(Matthew 28.19 NIV)

Christianity is supposedly an “inclusive religion”. Last post, we took a brief look at how this commandment was enacted. In this post we take not quite so brief a look at how Christianity has come to be an exclusive club often open to only a few who share the same belief systems within Christianity. Next time we will close our look at Christianity as an exclusive religion.

Christianity started being exclusive while still within the Jewish religion. Judaism excluded the followers of “The Way” (i.e.: the first Christians) from the very religion from which it sprang even from the advent of the ministry of the Christ. (Read Christ as the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah for the English word Savior.)

In the A.D. 60’s, while the Christians are hunted to the edge of extinction, they become more and more exclusive – much of which is for their own preservation. The Christians were generally shunned from their birth religion and polite society. At the same time the Christians were beginning to separate out certain of their own would-be members for various beliefs about Jesus bar Joseph of Nazareth, the Son of GOD. Such factions were labeled heretics because they might believe that Jesus was too divine or not divine enough to actually believe that Jesus was GOD become man to live among us. (e.g.: Essenes; Gnostics).

Christianity suffered a major split by A.D. 1000 becoming the eastern (Eastern Orthodox) and western (Roman Catholic) churches. At the time the center for the Christian church had moved from Jerusalem to Rome. Rome was the center of the Roman Empire. It was a logical choice. And, it was determined to be the catholic (read: universal) church – thus, the Roman Catholic Church.

Next post will be more about the exclusivity of Christianity.

Loving and Challenging GOD,

Thank You for giving us “The Way” to walk the same path as did our Savior Jesus Christ. Forgive us our faltering, stumbling steps.

Amen.

Christianity: Inclusive/ Exclusive Club

(This is the first of a two-part post.)

“Go…and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name….”

(Matthew 28.19)

CHRISTIANITY IS SUPPOSEDLY an “inclusive religion”. All we need do is look at the Christian Bible. Two-thirds of it is the Jewish Bible. Why don’t more people, including Christian messengers, readily see, and in seeing, understand this message?!

We are reminded time after time after time in scripture to minister to the marginalized people of this world. We are told, again in scripture, “Go…make disciples of all the nations….” So, we engage in the Crusades using armored warriors to “bring them in…civilizing the rest of the world”. We move on to the genocides of many GOD-fearing people such as the Jews (plus others) in the Holocaust; Native Americans in the “Indian Wars”. (Western Europeans incorrectly labeled he people of native nations in the Americas as “Indians”.)

The entire Christian Bible is filled with facts, images, stories, names for GOD taken from pre-Jewish religions, “pagan” beliefs, secular recorded history, Greek theology and philosophy. We don’t want to acknowledge these elements in our  Bible unless we call them “heresy”. We sweep them under the Christian rug to hide them in the dark out of our view. Yes, evil and illusion need only be named – need only be exposed to light to die in exposure to the Light of this World”.

Sweet Loving GOD,

Thank you for this opportunity to think about our faith in You from different angles.

Amen.

GOD’scandy Created

“…there was evening and there was morning , the sixth day. On the seventh day God finished the work [GOD] had done, and [GOD] rested….” (Ge 1.31, 2.2 NRSV)

While resting in the cool of the evening on the seventh day, GOD pondered to GOD’s self, “Humankind knows the beauty of seeing along with the difference between night and day. Humankind knows the melodic singing of birds and the intriguing roar of the  lion. Humankind knows the fullness of touch when they embrace each other. Humankind even knows the feeling of love when I walk with them in cool of the evening. But, how will humankind know the sweetness of taste?” GOD had at this time created all other things good.

Then GOD said to GOD’s self, “I’ll create a morsel as sweet as honey from the honeycomb. It shall have different flavors – caramel, cherry, wintergreen, liquorice, sweet lemon, and many, many other flavors. I shall create it as sticky and as syrupy as thick honey, or as firm and chewy as a fig. All of the textures shall dissolve and melt in one’s mouth. I shall name this creation in all it’s variations ‘GOD’scandy’. And, it shall be very, very good.

GOD has given GOD’s sweetness to many things since creating GOD’scandy – this blog is one of them.

Sweet Loving GOD:  Thank You for creating GOD’scandy. We give You praise that You knew that Your creations needed to savor the sweetness of life. Amen.

What’s GOD’scandy?

GOD’scandy is sweet as caramel. GOD’scandy is sticky & chewy or simply softly melts in our mouths or GOD’scandy is as hard as a red-hot “jawbreaker”.

GOD’scandy came into being named “Divinity for the Divine”. “Divinity” has 2 meanings.  First, “Divinity” is the name of the general studies about GOD, Who is also called the “Divine”, in a specialized school called a seminary. After 3 years of post-baccalaureate studies, the seminary student, called a seminarian, graduates with a “Master of Divinity” degree ready to become an ordained minister. Second, “Divinity” is the name of an old-time candy made with heavy cream, sugar, and not-much-else.  It melts in one’s mouth; if it gets that far as it starts melting in one’s hand. So, the word “Divinity” at that time had a double-entendre. Wishing to not be misunderstood, the title became “GOD’s Candy”. This name, however, allowed room for squabbling about exactly what is GOD’s favorite candy. The title changes yet again by pushing the 2 words together forming the title as it now stands, “GOD’scandy”. “GOD’scandy” implies that we will find sweet ideas from, and for, GOD in this blog.

GOD’scandy carries a “G” censorship rating and is gender sensitive. So please write your comments in the same style. GOD’scandy publishes approximately weekly. GOD’scandy prays that you will enjoy.