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eight bits

Jesus's family didn't think he was crazy

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eight bits
Posted (edited)

To celebrate the recent merger of the sheltered workshop with the candid discussion board, here's a topic that would be at home half in one place and half in the other, and now all of it can be addressed in one place, all at once.

Contrary to what you read in many translations of Mark 3:21, Jesus's family didn't think he was insane. That simply isn't what the Greek says, nor is there any place else in the New Testament where Jesus's family thinks he's mentally ill. It is true that Jesus's family aren't portrayed as followers during his lifetime, and also true that some other people express doubts about his mental state, but nothing as embarrassing as your mother thinking you'd be better off locked away in a shuttered room.

That's the good news about the Good News.

The bad news is that if Jesus's family thinking him insane is found only in translations and not in the original Greek, then Christian authors went out of their way to report something that the criterion of embarrassment predicts they'd prefer to avoid even if that was what the Greek said. "Nobody would make up something like that."

Well, somebody did invent it, didn't they? The criterion isn't as popular in the guild as it once was, being itself something of an embarrassment when compared with how real historians do their work. Nevertheless, two of the gospel events which are frequently included in "minimal" consensus definitions of "the historical Jesus" (the baptism and the crucifixion) are often accompanied by "Nobody would make up ..." (God seeking remission of his sins or dying a hideous and humilating death).

Deatils are here:

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2021/03/21/jesuss-family-didnt-think-he-was-crazy/

Edited by eight bits
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bison

I looked to Mark 3:21 in thirteen translations of the Bible, old and new.  Ten of them used the phrase 'out of his mind' or something very similar, including the  revered King James Version, and the respected New Revised Standard Version. Two translations rendered it: 'beside himself', which typically has a negative connotation, and would seem to have one here, too, since his people wanted to take custody of him. One translation has it as: 'Lost his senses'.

The intended meaning seems to be that while Jesus' claims and behavior prompted these reactions, as might well be expected, his family and/or friends were not in a position to judge him fairly, in this respect. 

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Mr Walker
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, eight bits said:

To celebrate the recent merger of the sheltered workshop with the candid discussion board, here's a topic that would be at home half in one place and half in the other, and now all of it can be addressed in one place, all at once.

Contrary to what you read in many translations of Mark 3:21, Jesus's family didn't think he was insane. That simply isn't what the Greek says, nor is there any place else in the New Testament where Jesus's family thinks he's mentally ill. It is true that Jesus's family aren't portrayed as followers during his lifetime, and also true that some other people express doubts about his mental state, but nothing as embarrassing as your mother thinking you'd be better off locked away in a shuttered room.

That's the good news about the Good News.

The bad news is that if Jesus's family thinking him insane is found only in translations and not in the original Greek, then Christian authors went out of their way to report something that the criterion of embarrassment predicts they'd prefer to avoid even if that was what the Greek said. "Nobody would make up something like that."

Well, somebody did invent it, didn't they? The criterion isn't as popular in the guild as it once was, being itself something of an embarrassment when compared with how real historians do their work. Nevertheless, two of the gospel events which are frequently included in "minimal" consensus definitions of "the historical Jesus" (the baptism and the crucifixion) are often accompanied by "Nobody would make up ..." (God seeking remission of his sins or dying a hideous and humilating death).

Deatils are here:

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2021/03/21/jesuss-family-didnt-think-he-was-crazy/

Ive studied with many, and varied, Christian groups in my misspent youth. Never, ever, have I heard an a argument that, within the narrative, Christ's family thought him insane.  Indeed his mother, especially, seems to have been devoted to him. His father perhaps understandably was  a bit disappointed at first with the role he assumed   but also proud  His brothers and sisters are suggested to have become his disciples.

  I guess a person uneducated in scripture might  read that singular verse as you have suggested but basically most peole I spoke with   50 years ago  already understood the context of it Ie part of a passage about peoples responses to christ and how some came to be selected as disciples 

I think your source gives a good explanation but one which those who study the bible rather than simply follow it, would already be aware of 

I would suggest that never in the original story line, nor in the later editions, was this interpretation valid 

The unusual nature of Christ was emphasised by the reactions  of those around him including his family Ie his uniqueness was reinforced in the narrative by the reactions of those close to him.

So there is never a suggestion that Christ was insane, only  that he was so divine/extraordinary  than ordinary humans couldn't comprehend him.

Within the narrative,(ie if you look at the coherency, rather than the literal accuracy of the story)  early  miracles like that of the wine would soon have shown those close to him that he was not crazy .

Thus the question of embarrassment doesn't arise,   except that the doubters would have been embarrassed later on.  (Like the doubters of job were admonished) 

 

Edited by Mr Walker

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Never, ever, have I heard an a argument that, within the narrative, Christ's family thought him insane. 

The link used in the blog is

https://www.biblestudytools.com/mark/3-21-compare.html

There are about 30 +/- independent English language translations of the verse on the web page. Several of them, about half, state that Jesus's family thought he was insane.

Although only the translations are discussed in the blog article, if you google mark 3:21 commentary, then you'll find plenty of discussions. It also appears to be a popular sermon topic.

Mark 3:21 is the only place in the New Testament where you'll find this family problem stated, and then only in translations.

43 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

I would suggest that never in the original story line, nor in the later editions, was this interpretation valid 

Hence the thread title.

43 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

So there is never a suggestion that Christ was insane,

John 10:19-20. "Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, 'He has a demon and is insane! Why do you listen to him?'"

Nobody in the canon says that Jesus's family thought he was crazy; what others thought is a different story.

43 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Thus the question of embarrassment doesn't arise, 

Quite so, but that isn't what the criterion predicts when the translators say that Jesus's family thought he was insane despite their not having any obligation (or much good reason) to say that. The criterion is unreliable.

Edited by eight bits
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third_eye

"He's a very naughty boy... "

Hardly any reason to debate that... 

~

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, bison said:

The intended meaning seems to be that while Jesus' claims and behavior prompted these reactions, as might well be expected, his family and/or friends were not in a position to judge him fairly, in this respect. 

"Intended meaning" is difficult, because we don't know anything about Mark except for these eleven-to-twelve thousand words.he wrote.

Suppose Mark were a newly discovered manuscript, like those found at Nag Hammadi in the last century. We wouldn't have verses, we wouldn't have sentences, even: the letters would just run on line after line. If you see commas, periods (full stops) or quotation marks (inverted commas) in your Bible, then you know that those were added by modern people.

If all we had was an ancient manuscript, then we would have to deicde who's saying what, in addition to deciding what they're saying.

Here's 3:20-22 in a moden translation, where the sentence structure reflects a division into verses that Mark didn't write:

Quote

20 The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
21 When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him; for they said, “He is insane.”
22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul,” and, “By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons.”

https://ebible.org/web/MRK03.htm

Here are almost the same (English) words, without the verse markers, grouped and punctuated differently, but in a way that is as consistent with the source text as above. Two word changes are made: "Indeed" is the same word in Greek as "for" (gar) and every verb in Greek (except infinitives) includes a pronoun in its ending.

Quote

The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him.

Indeed they said "He is insane," the scribes who came from Jerusalem. They said "He has Beelzebul and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons."

And finally, that second line sounds awkward in English because the order of words is grammatically important in English. It isn't in "inflected" languages like Greek, so redering the same thought in plain good English, we arrive at:

Quote

The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him.

Indeed the scribes who came from Jerusalem said "He is insane." They said "He has Beelzebul and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons."

Why won't you find that version in any English-language Bible (so far as I know)? Because the translators follow the division into verses that everyone uses now, but which wasn't written by Mark. Nevertheless, it is as "faithful" a translation of what's on the manuscript page as the usual version where the speakers are the same people as those who "heard it" and "went out."

Which did Mark intend? Did he even intend one over the other? Might he have liked the ambiguity for some reason (as discussed in th blog article)?

Who knows? But the takeaway is that we can't even be sure that Jesus's family (or friends or whatever well-wishers) are quoted at all in Mark, on any subject.

 

Edited by eight bits
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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
On 3/21/2021 at 12:25 PM, eight bits said:

To celebrate the recent merger of the sheltered workshop with the candid discussion board, here's a topic that would be at home half in one place and half in the other, and now all of it can be addressed in one place, all at once.

Contrary to what you read in many translations of Mark 3:21, Jesus's family didn't think he was insane. That simply isn't what the Greek says, nor is there any place else in the New Testament where Jesus's family thinks he's mentally ill. It is true that Jesus's family aren't portrayed as followers during his lifetime, and also true that some other people express doubts about his mental state, but nothing as embarrassing as your mother thinking you'd be better off locked away in a shuttered room.

That's the good news about the Good News.

The bad news is that if Jesus's family thinking him insane is found only in translations and not in the original Greek, then Christian authors went out of their way to report something that the criterion of embarrassment predicts they'd prefer to avoid even if that was what the Greek said. "Nobody would make up something like that."

Well, somebody did invent it, didn't they? The criterion isn't as popular in the guild as it once was, being itself something of an embarrassment when compared with how real historians do their work. Nevertheless, two of the gospel events which are frequently included in "minimal" consensus definitions of "the historical Jesus" (the baptism and the crucifixion) are often accompanied by "Nobody would make up ..." (God seeking remission of his sins or dying a hideous and humilating death).

Deatils are here:

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2021/03/21/jesuss-family-didnt-think-he-was-crazy/

Excellent post and blog. Even if one didn’t hear that Jesus was insane it stands to reason that his idea at the time was radical to say the least, so much so the lore and evidence shows his fate as executed. 
 

That the earth was round was another insane idea, so was washing ones hands the doctor that came up with that was ridiculed for it. I find the idea that Jesus was a nut case feasible. 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/23/ignaz-semmelweis-handwashing-coronavirus/

 

 

Edited by Sherapy
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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, eight bits said:

"Intended meaning" is difficult, because we don't know anything about Mark except for these eleven-to-twelve thousand words.he wrote.

Suppose Mark were a newly discovered manuscript, like those found at Nag Hammadi in the last century. We wouldn't have verses, we wouldn't have sentences, even: the letters would just run on line after line. If you see commas, periods (full stops) or quotation marks (inverted commas) in your Bible, then you know that those were added by modern people.

If all we had was an ancient manuscript, then we would have to deicde who's saying what, in addition to deciding what they're saying.

Here's 3:20-22 in a moden translation, where the sentence structure reflects a division into verses that Mark didn't write:

https://ebible.org/web/MRK03.htm

Here are almost the same (English) words, without the verse markers, grouped and punctuated differently, but in a way that is as consistent with the source text as above. Two word changes are made: "Indeed" is the same word in Greek as "for" (gar) and every verb in Greek (except infinitives) includes a pronoun in its ending.

And finally, that second line sounds awkward in English because the order of words is grammatically important in English. It isn't in "inflected" languages like Greek, so redering the same thought in plain good English, we arrive at:

Why won't you find that version in any English-language Bible (so far as I know)? Because the translators follow the division into verses that everyone uses now, but which wasn't written by Mark. Nevertheless, it is as "faithful" a translation of what's on the manuscript page as the usual version where the speakers are the same people as those who "heard it" and "went out."

Which did Mark intend? Did he even intend one over the other? Might he have liked the ambiguity for some reason (as discussed in th blog article)?

Who knows? But the takeaway is that we can't even be sure that Jesus's family (or friends or whatever well-wishers) are quoted at all in Mark, on any subject.

 

In the climate, the Jesus story was framed, it is a no brainer that Jesus’s family thought he was insane. 

20 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Ive studied with many, and varied, Christian groups in my misspent youth. Never, ever, have I heard an a argument that, within the narrative, Christ's family thought him insane.  Indeed his mother, especially, seems to have been devoted to him. His father perhaps understandably was  a bit disappointed at first with the role he assumed   but also proud  His brothers and sisters are suggested to have become his disciples.

  I guess a person uneducated in scripture might  read that singular verse as you have suggested but basically most peole I spoke with   50 years ago  already understood the context of it Ie part of a passage about peoples responses to christ and how some came to be selected as disciples 

I think your source gives a good explanation but one which those who study the bible rather than simply follow it, would already be aware of 

I would suggest that never in the original story line, nor in the later editions, was this interpretation valid 

The unusual nature of Christ was emphasised by the reactions  of those around him including his family Ie his uniqueness was reinforced in the narrative by the reactions of those close to him.

So there is never a suggestion that Christ was insane, only  that he was so divine/extraordinary  than ordinary humans couldn't comprehend him.

Within the narrative,(ie if you look at the coherency, rather than the literal accuracy of the story)  early  miracles like that of the wine would soon have shown those close to him that he was not crazy .

Thus the question of embarrassment doesn't arise,   except that the doubters would have been embarrassed later on.  (Like the doubters of job were admonished) 

 

At best you did Bible studies, Eight is an expert on this topic and quite frankly it isn’t shocking or surprising you never heard of the many times that Jesus has been referred to as insane. 
 

You truly are an anomaly few can make the claim that they have not veered far from their hometown let alone never have been on an airplane or gone on a vacation let alone as choosing to live a life of such austerity. I make no judgements each to their own. Just sayin.

 

 

Edited by Sherapy
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eight bits
Posted (edited)

@Sherapy ... hmm, looks like somebody's been vaccinated :D

Also, thank you for the kind words.

It is startling how recently achieved some of our understandings of the world are. Wash hands between patient visits? What? You'e talking as if there are some invisible disease demons possessing thepatients. And what if there were? How is washing my hands going to help?

Eeew.

Anyway, Jesus. Yes, I think if there were a real-life Jesus, then

3 hours ago, Sherapy said:

In the climate, the Jesus story was framed, it is a no brainer that Jesus’s family thought he was insane.

is pretty realistic. But in the canonical gospels, in Matthew and Luke, the family gets the word before Jesus is born from angels (Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:26-38), and then all kinds of supernatural stuff when he is born.

Maybe last Yuletide you saw this satirical vid based on the Christmas hymn Mary, did you know?

 

Edited by eight bits
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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, eight bits said:

@Sherapy ... hmm, looks like somebody's been vaccinated :D

Also, thank you for the kind words.

It is startling how recently achieved some of our understandings of the world are. Wash hands between patient visits? What? You'e talking as if there are some invisible disease demons possessing thepatients. And what if there were? How is washing my hands going to help?

Eeew.

Anyway, Jesus. Yes, I think if there were a real-life Jesus, then

is pretty realistic. But in the canonical gospels, in Matthew and Luke, the family gets the word before Jesus is born from angels (Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:26-38), and then all kinds of supernatural stuff when he is born.

Maybe last Yuletide you saw this satirical vid based on the sappy Christmas hymn Mary, did you know?

 

Yes, vaccinated with moderna, had a few rough days (on the second shot )flu like symptoms, but I was grateful to have gotten the MRNA version of Covid and felt so sad for those and their families who got it and died or were hospitalized. 
 

I don’t care how long ago, it is not shocking to me that Jesus and his family were “odd” to say the least. Immaculate conception and making water turn to wine, having a stroll on the ocean’s surface. For me, this has a Moses vibe to it: burning bush that talks to you, parting the seas so people can walk thru. Sheesh, of course it’s a bit cra cra that does it for this elephant in the room.

Not a lot of growth on this tale. Eeks.:P

 

Edited by Sherapy
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Mr Walker
On 3/22/2021 at 11:56 AM, eight bits said:

The link used in the blog is

https://www.biblestudytools.com/mark/3-21-compare.html

There are about 30 +/- independent English language translations of the verse on the web page. Several of them, about half, state that Jesus's family thought he was insane.

Although only the translations are discussed in the blog article, if you google mark 3:21 commentary, then you'll find plenty of discussions. It also appears to be a popular sermon topic.

Mark 3:21 is the only place in the New Testament where you'll find this family problem stated, and then only in translations.

Hence the thread title.

John 10:19-20. "Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, 'He has a demon and is insane! Why do you listen to him?'"

Nobody in the canon says that Jesus's family thought he was crazy; what others thought is a different story.

Quite so, but that isn't what the criterion predicts when the translators say that Jesus's family thought he was insane despite their not having any obligation (or much good reason) to say that. The criterion is unreliable.

No the  passage appears to suggest   in the words presented tha t they felt this way.

Any person educated in biblical writing  would know that wasn't meant, for the reasons outlined in the source you gave OR because it simply doesn't fit t he context of the narrative and the ongoing relationship between Jesus and his family s described in that narrative 

I am actually agreeing with you  but saying that all the people form  the many churches with whom I studied when in my twenties never ever read or interpreted it in the literal sense   of the words.

It never even came up as an issue, because it wasn't one 

I suspect it is a modern debate  perhaps instigated by those who want to argue about the narrative      Today, many people, with no background in biblical studies, offer opinions on the writings,  based on their disbelief  or biases  Even 50 years ago such debates were confined to those who either had a belief or some expertise in the bible as pieces of literature.

Today, with the internet, every one is an expert and has a forum for debate. 

the translators simply got it wrong, which often happens in literal translations of complex, and even abstract,  views 

Plus, of course, the meanings of words themselves change over time, so that "single woman'  becomes translated as prostitute,  and fear is understood as being afraid of, not loving   or respecting,  god 

Fear of God refers to fear or a specific sense of respect, awe, and submission to a deity.

One is not asked to be afraid of god.

Indeed there is nothing to be afraid of in god,  but one should (in this command)  respect,  be in awe of, and submit to,  god. Not from  fear, but from  love.

it is why god is often compared to a father figure 

One does not need to be afraid of ones father but one should respect  obey and be in some awe of a fathers wisdom and authority.       

 

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

Any person educated in biblical writing  would know that wasn't meant, for the reasons outlined in the source you gave OR because it simply doesn't fit t he context of the narrative and the ongoing relationship between Jesus and his family s described in that narrative 

And that's why it's interesting. The people who wrote these widely published  translations were exquisitely "educated in biblical writing." Nevertheless, as you say, the verse in context puts Jesus in a dangerous jam, and somebody wants to extend him a helping hand - just as Jesus himself had not long before extended a helping hand to Peter's ailing mother-in-law (same verb).

I'm unsure that there's any one-size-fits-all explanation of how something like that would catch on as widely as it has, and hold on for as long as it has (back to the fourth century, and still going strong today). I guess that's why this place is called Unexplained Mysteries - but there it is, literally in black and white.

1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

I suspect it is a modern debate  perhaps instigated by those who want to argue about the narrative      Today, many people, with no background in biblical studies, offer opinions on the writings,  based on their disbelief  or biases  Even 50 years ago such debates were confined to those who either had a belief or some expertise in the bible as pieces of literature.

No, you find this issue more-or-less as far back as there have been Bibles in the English language. (The fourth century one I just mentioned was a translation into Latin - English didn't exist back then.) It's not a Catholic versus Protestant thing, either, as far as I can see. For example, the JW's have their own version of the Bible (New World Translation), and yet there it is again:

Quote

 But when his relatives heard about it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying: “He has gone out of his mind.”

The study bible edition cross references the verse with John 7:5, which mentions that Jesus's brothers weren't followers (but John says nothing about their impeding Jesus, either, nor what they thought about him personally.)

https://www.jw.org/en/library/bible/study-bible/books/mark/3/

I'm told the SDA's, although they don't have an "official" translation, often use the King James ("... his friends...beside himself") or the New King James ("...his own people...out of his mind"). Neither of those put the disturbing words in the mouth of Jesus's kin, so maybe that's how the issue manages not to come up in SDA bible study meetings.

1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

Plus, of course, the meanings of words themselves change over time, so that "single woman'  becomes translated as prostitute,  and fear is understood as being afraid of, not loving   or respecting,  god 

I wonder if we have an example of that in this very verse. The King James Version has had a tremendous influence on the living English language. Apparently, beside himself was strong wording back in 1611, but now, the phrase has worn down with use - use that may have been fostered by the influential popularity of the KJV. Anyway, today  beside himself often means only "visibly upset." Only rarely today would it refer to something chronic or pathological or justifying immediate muscular intervention.

If so, then ironically, the influence of the King James would have brought the contemporary reading of its wording closer to the ancient original.

 

Edited by eight bits
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Will Do

 

Eight,

I wonder if the resolution to the premise of your thread isn't simply a case where Occam's razor applies?

 

"If a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, he is not without understanding appreciation save in his own family."

 

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was anything but happy with her first born son when he went on in his public ministry doing things and saying things she did not approve of and because of this, a rift occured and as a result the family practically disowned him.

Upending the order of family pride is often a messy business.

 

 

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eight bits
29 minutes ago, Will Do said:

Upending the order of family pride is often a messy business.

Yes, as Sherapy pointed out earlier and I think she's spot on if we're talking about a real-life situation, Jesus's family would likely be urgently concerned about his mental health, and how that might endanger him, even get him killed - maybe get them killed, too.

But the gospel stories just don't go in that direction. Mark has very little to say about Jesus's family, and they don't do much one way or the other in that version of the story, They aren't followers (you quoted a close paraphrase of verse 6:4), but Mark treats that almost impersonally (prophets generally don't sway their families or neighbors, Jesus is like all the rest of them in that respect).

Matthew and Luke have Jesus's family fully informed by the very highest sources from the outset, and John has a very subtle portrait of the brothers (chapter 7), where they aren't followers, but they encourage Jesus, when he's stuck at a low point in his ministry (chapter 6), to go to Jerusalem for a festival. In other words, the very opposite of forcibly hiding him away.

But enter the translator and suddenly ... well, now the family behaves as a real-life family might well have behaved in that situation, time and place.

It's a puzzle, and I admit to a fondness for puzzles :P

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Liquid Gardens
3 hours ago, eight bits said:

Yes, as Sherapy pointed out earlier and I think she's spot on if we're talking about a real-life situation, Jesus's family would likely be urgently concerned about his mental health, and how that might endanger him, even get him killed - maybe get them killed, too.

Which is an excellent point but I was wondering, is there something specific or a particular episode that would lead them to believe Jesus was mentally ill?  We would think that today of someone who thought and behaved like Jesus because of science, but my understanding was that miracle-workers/magicians weren't that rare in the 1st Century nor were preachers claiming to be related to/connected to God.  I'm sure these kind of 'prophets' or whatever weren't that common of course, but do we have reason to believe for instance that Jesus' family thought these 'prophets', not just Jesus, were not actually healing people through God, which I thought was a fairly common prophet activity, and were instead crazy?

I suspect this is part of 'the puzzle', just trying to put myself in the mind space of a 1st Century Jew who knows (comparatively) little about science and whose religion is partly based on the existence of divine prophets.  I've been under the very general impression that what Jesus was saying and doing, outside of table-flipping/whip-fashioning in the temple maybe, wasn't really all that different from others like him around at the same time and that all the attention really came after his death. That's part of the reason why there's no contemporaneous record of him.  Sure there's a general 'it's crazy for him to say the things he's saying as he's risking the wrath of the Caliphate/Romans', which in certain cases we call 'courage' not mental illness, but that's different than, 'the idea that people can communicate directly with God without relying on a rabbi intermediary is absurd and loony' or 'he thinks he's divinely healing people when we all know God doesn't work that way and so there's something wrong with him'.

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Will Do
Posted (edited)

 

The mix up here is tied to the Jewish concept in those days of the Messiah. Mary's people were conservative regarding the Messiah. That he would be a violent person. Leading an army.

Mary's family was aware of the message of Gabriel. That Jesus was a child of destiny. Although Gabriel never said a word to Mary about the Messiah, they took it upon themselves to think of him that way.

Mary's people had rigid ideas about the Messiah. So when Jesus demonstrated that he was the antithesis of their erroneous Messianic concepts, that to them, became an insult impossible to bear. I suppose it drove them "crazy" that Jesus wouldn't submit to his family's preconceptions. So they shunned him.

The cards in the Messiah's hand said he was supposed to kill his enemies. Not love them.

 

 

 

Edited by Will Do

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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Liquid Gardens said:

Which is an excellent point but I was wondering, is there something specific or a particular episode that would lead them to believe Jesus was mentally ill?  We would think that today of someone who thought and behaved like Jesus because of science, but my understanding was that miracle-workers/magicians weren't that rare in the 1st Century nor were preachers claiming to be related to/connected to God.  I'm sure these kind of 'prophets' or whatever weren't that common of course, but do we have reason to believe for instance that Jesus' family thought these 'prophets', not just Jesus, were not actually healing people through God, which I thought was a fairly common prophet activity, and were instead crazy?

I suspect this is part of 'the puzzle', just trying to put myself in the mind space of a 1st Century Jew who knows (comparatively) little about science and whose religion is partly based on the existence of divine prophets.  I've been under the very general impression that what Jesus was saying and doing, outside of table-flipping/whip-fashioning in the temple maybe, wasn't really all that different from others like him around at the same time and that all the attention really came after his death. That's part of the reason why there's no contemporaneous record of him.  Sure there's a general 'it's crazy for him to say the things he's saying as he's risking the wrath of the Caliphate/Romans', which in certain cases we call 'courage' not mental illness, but that's different than, 'the idea that people can communicate directly with God without relying on a rabbi intermediary is absurd and loony' or 'he thinks he's divinely healing people when we all know God doesn't work that way and so there's something wrong with him'.

You know LG, this is an interesting perspective too. 
 

I didn’t pursue my own line of questioning in this, but it flashed across my mind that his Judaism had to have been a big factor, the equivalent of the way it  used to be coming out gay in our modern religious culture.

 

Or Jesus’s mom, sibs and dad begrudgingly may have wanted little Jesus to be himself, but not get carried away. It  is one thing to experiment a little, just not get any new ideas. It sounds like Jesus got swept up in his beliefs ‘til the consequences were either shut up or die. 
 

 It sounds to me, like maw and paw Jesus felt he was acting way to nuts he was tipping over money changers tables at the marketplace etc. If he was my son I would say verbatim “he is out of his mind” and, It would mean that I am terror stricken over my kid and desperate for ways to get him to stop, ASAP. 

1 hour ago, Will Do said:

 

The mix up here is tied to the Jewish concept in those days of the Messiah. Mary's people were conservative regarding the Messiah. That he would be a violent person. Leading an army.

Mary's family was aware of the message of Gabriel. That Jesus was a child of destiny. Although Gabriel never said a word to Mary about the Messiah, they took it upon themselves to think of him that way.

Mary's people had rigid ideas about the Messiah. So when Jesus demonstrated that he was the antithesis of their erroneous Messianic concepts, that to them, became an insult impossible to bear. I suppose it drove them "crazy" that Jesus wouldn't submit to his family's preconceptions. So they shunned him.

The cards in the Messiah's hand said he was supposed to kill his enemies. Not love them.

 

 

 

Is your source the UB? 
 

Just asking.
 

 

Edited by Sherapy
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eight bits
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Liquid Gardens said:

is there something specific or a particular episode that would lead them to believe Jesus was mentally ill? 

In Mark, Jesus is pretty level-headed except for occasional outbursts of anger or frustration, and a few "dark" brooding moments. Not a lot to worry about as far as mental health goes, but it was politically dangerous to draw big crowds for any reason. Matthew and Luke pretty much follow Mark for Jesus's behavior, plus all  those sayings that may have been political dynamite, but don't seem to be of pathological origin.

Which leaves John. This is the hardest part of what Jesus says in chapter 6 that causes him to lose followers on the spot:

Quote

53 Jesus therefore said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves.
54  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55  For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him.
57  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on me will also live because of me.
58  This is the bread which came down out of heaven—not as our fathers ate the manna and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

He's jewish and his audience is Jewish. Jews didn't eat the flesh of "clean" animals rare, because blood was taboo. Human remains were buried or entombed immediately (same day as the death if possible) with a minimum of handling. Cannibalism was out of the question.

I'd nominate that as the saying of Jesus that would most forcefully impress first century Palestinian Jews as the ravings of a mad man.

But the very next thing in John is Jesus with his brothers, and here's what they say to him (chapter 7):

Quote

1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn’t walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand.
3 His brothers therefore said to him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do.
4 For no one does anything in secret while he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world.”
5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.

A very measured response, even if they don't believe in him.

=====

1 hour ago, Will Do said:

The cards in the Messiah's hand said he was supposed to kill his enemies. Not love them.

There were all kinds of "messianic" expectations during the last few Second Temple Jewish generations. Mark weaves some of the different ones into his plot at various points (e.g. when Jesus and Peter fight, "Get thee behind me, Satan," 8:31-33). However, Jesus's family is barely represented in Mark, and so I don't know what their  thinking was supposed to be in that version of the story. If I had to guess, then I'd pick that they'd think he was some kind of prophet like John the Baptist, and a successor to the Baptist, probably somebody waiting for the Messiah to come soonish, rather than jesus being the Messiah himself. But that's just a guess.

ETA @Sherapy I just saw your post, but Sarah the beagle wants a walk NOW. She's a persuasive negotiator; I'll get back to you soon :D

Edited by eight bits
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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, eight bits said:

In Mark, Jesus is pretty level-headed except for occasional outbursts of anger or frustration, and a few "dark" brooding moments. Not a lot to worry about as far as mental health goes, but it was politically dangerous to draw big crowds for any reason. Matthew and Luke pretty much follow Mark for Jesus's behavior, plus all  those sayings that may have been political dynamite, but don't seem to be of pathological origin.

Which leaves John. This is the hardest part of what Jesus says in chapter 6 that causes him to lose followers on the spot:

He's jewish and his audience is Jewish. Jews didn't eat the flesh of "clean" animals rare, because blood was taboo. Human remains were buried or entombed immediately (same day as the death if possible) with a minimum of handling. Cannibalism was out of the question.

I'd nominate that as the saying of Jesus that would most forcefully impress first century Palestinian Jews as the ravings of a mad man.

But the very next thing in John is Jesus with his brothers, and here's what they say to him (chapter 7):

A very measured response, even if they don't believe in him.

=====

There were all kinds of "messianic" expectations during the last few Second Temple Jewish generations. Mark weaves some of the different ones into his plot at various points (e.g. when Jesus and Peter fight, "Get thee behind me, Satan," 8:31-33). However, Jesus's family is barely represented in Mark, and so I don't know what their  thinking was supposed to be in that version of the story. If I had to guess, then I'd pick that they'd think he was some kind of prophet like John the Baptist, and a successor to the Baptist, probably somebody waiting for the Messiah to come soonish, rather than jesus being the Messiah himself. But that's just a guess.

Wow, that makes sense. Going against your own religion in many families in the US is still cause for hate, cutting a family member off in a religious family is common practice and is no joke, imagine back then.

 

Excellent point. 

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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, eight bits said:

In Mark, Jesus is pretty level-headed except for occasional outbursts of anger or frustration, and a few "dark" brooding moments. Not a lot to worry about as far as mental health goes, but it was politically dangerous to draw big crowds for any reason. Matthew and Luke pretty much follow Mark for Jesus's behavior, plus all  those sayings that may have been political dynamite, but don't seem to be of pathological origin.

Which leaves John. This is the hardest part of what Jesus says in chapter 6 that causes him to lose followers on the spot:

He's jewish and his audience is Jewish. Jews didn't eat the flesh of "clean" animals rare, because blood was taboo. Human remains were buried or entombed immediately (same day as the death if possible) with a minimum of handling. Cannibalism was out of the question.

I'd nominate that as the saying of Jesus that would most forcefully impress first century Palestinian Jews as the ravings of a mad man.

But the very next thing in John is Jesus with his brothers, and here's what they say to him (chapter 7):

A very measured response, even if they don't believe in him.

=====

There were all kinds of "messianic" expectations during the last few Second Temple Jewish generations. Mark weaves some of the different ones into his plot at various points (e.g. when Jesus and Peter fight, "Get thee behind me, Satan," 8:31-33). However, Jesus's family is barely represented in Mark, and so I don't know what their  thinking was supposed to be in that version of the story. If I had to guess, then I'd pick that they'd think he was some kind of prophet like John the Baptist, and a successor to the Baptist, probably somebody waiting for the Messiah to come soonish, rather than jesus being the Messiah himself. But that's just a guess.

From my own anecdotal reports, to this day the big beef between Judaism and Christianity was/is that Jesus was claimed as the messiah at all, have you heard this or run across it in the guild at all? A few of my Jewish friends have told me this. 

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Hammerclaw
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sherapy said:

From my own anecdotal reports, to this day the big beef between Judaism and Christianity was/is that Jesus was claimed as the messiah at all, have you heard this or run across it in the guild at all? A few of my Jewish friends have told me this. 

The Chasm that developed between Christianity and Judaism concerns the nature of both religions. Originally a new Jewish Sect, a gentile must first submit to being proselytized into Judaism first before becoming Christian, which included male circumcision. Once this requirement was dispensed with a rift was formed between gentile Christians and Jewish Christians who adhered to Mosaic law. Once the Romans ceased taxing Christians as Jews, the chasm was codified into law and the separation was complete. Jewish Christians were absorbed into the new gentile religion which Christianity had become, or back into mainstream Judaism. Also, Judaism was legally sanctioned religion under Roman law, whereas Christianity wasn't sanctioned until 313 AD by decree of Emperor Constantine.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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Hammerclaw
On 3/21/2021 at 8:46 PM, Mr Walker said:

Ive studied with many, and varied, Christian groups in my misspent youth. Never, ever, have I heard an a argument that, within the narrative, Christ's family thought him insane.  Indeed his mother, especially, seems to have been devoted to him. His father perhaps understandably was  a bit disappointed at first with the role he assumed   but also proud  His brothers and sisters are suggested to have become his disciples.

  I guess a person uneducated in scripture might  read that singular verse as you have suggested but basically most peole I spoke with   50 years ago  already understood the context of it Ie part of a passage about peoples responses to christ and how some came to be selected as disciples 

I think your source gives a good explanation but one which those who study the bible rather than simply follow it, would already be aware of 

I would suggest that never in the original story line, nor in the later editions, was this interpretation valid 

The unusual nature of Christ was emphasised by the reactions  of those around him including his family Ie his uniqueness was reinforced in the narrative by the reactions of those close to him.

So there is never a suggestion that Christ was insane, only  that he was so divine/extraordinary  than ordinary humans couldn't comprehend him.

Within the narrative,(ie if you look at the coherency, rather than the literal accuracy of the story)  early  miracles like that of the wine would soon have shown those close to him that he was not crazy .

Thus the question of embarrassment doesn't arise,   except that the doubters would have been embarrassed later on.  (Like the doubters of job were admonished) 

 

Did you just make all that up?

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eight bits
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Sherapy said:

From my own anecdotal reports, to this day the big beef between Judaism and Christianity was/is that Jesus was claimed as the messiah at all, have you heard this or run across it in the guild at all? A few of my Jewish friends have told me this. 

The bright and shining line here seems to be the analysis offered by 12th Century Jewish philospher, Rabbi Maimonides (also called Rambam, an acronym for his Hebrew name and rabbinic title). He characterized Jesus as a failed Messiah based on Jesus having died without fulfilling a roster of prophecies that Maimonides had compiled from the Jewish canon.  I think that has been the "big beef" ever since.

Before then? Way before then? Two areas of current concentration within the guild are "the parting(s) of the ways" (from the title of a 1990 lecture series and follow-up book by James Dunn), that is, how the two religions grew into two distinct entities circa 70-135 CE, and the Jewish context of Jesus and early Christianity, which is a huge subject.

My sense is that things were more complicated back then than just whether Jesus was or wasn't the Messiah, or one of the two some expected back then, or ... There were a lot of competing Jewish messianic ideas (or so it seems),  plus differnces of opinion about what was or wasn't a messianic prophecy in the scriptures, and what was scripture ... did First Enoch "count," or Daniel? Maybe with some Jews and not with others ...

Coming at it from the Christian side, did all of them believe the same things about Jesus and what his being called the Messiah meant? Is the problem less ideology and more ethnicity? By and large, by 120 or so, the admirers of Jesus the Messiah mostly weren't ethnically Jewish anymore, They didn't observe Jewish law or customs anymore. Why wouldn't they separate from those who were ethnically Jewish and who took law and custiom to heart?

That last bit is just my conjecture, but the lines and reasons for separateness may be clearer recently in history than they were in ancient times.

 

Edited by eight bits
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third_eye

What I'm having a rocking hard time with here is this definition of "mentally ill, insanity and crazy" as proposed and what it was regarded as back then. 

Don't even have to go back that far, even during the early days of Jung and Freud the definition was an entirely animal to different schools of thought depending on which omnipotent deity they cared for. 

~

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Mr Walker
9 hours ago, Hammerclaw said:

Did you just make all that up?

What do you mean?

I actually did study  the bible for several years with different christian groups.

I also studied the bible "academically " 

This was back in the  seventies 

What i wrote is what i found people of that time, thinking. 

Ie no one seriously considered that Christ's family thought him insane. They   understood the context of this verse  and the actual meaning of the original words used before translation

Of course others thought him crazy,  and some tried to use that to prevent him preaching

But to my mind it was like Job 

His neighbours etc thought he must have offended god when he was so severely tried.

  But god admonished them.

NO. Job had remained faithful despite the trials (proving Satan to be wrong) and was thus rewarded several fold, for his loyalty 

In both cases  the story points out that those around these faithful men were wrong  and the men were correct .

That's why there is no embarrassment in the original language 

The story point out the error of others and the "truthfulness" of the heroes.

I suspect it was just poorly translated   

 

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