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How Jesus Went Viral Amateur Musings


I am awash in gospels
I Kindle-bought a 600 page collection of
early Christian gospels
none of which most people ever see or read
They prove conclusively (to me)
that gospel-writing was aimed at making
the one who wandered about saying provocative things
into a full blown religious Messiah 
who would offer priests a sinecure for generations to come

The gospels in the New Testament 
are the edited texts of
a vast number of outlandish myths and legends
that sprang up after Jesus did whatever he actually did
Like Schweitzer and many other Biblical scholars
I believe any conclusions we draw about Jesus
are inferences only
subjective suppositions
unprovable
The only supposition that I am willing to entertain
is that Jesus started a movement based on
his articulation of Abba's way

But these gospels I am reading offer me a huge clue
Already the church is preparing to 
make the virgin birth stick
With many stories of Mary being groped by 
midwives whose arms are withered
for their forwardness
but who were healed
when they touched
the hem
of the infant's garment

This is sealing up the religion claim is
fanciful but definitely priest-intensive
But what is also clear in these gospels is 
a universal motive
Already this baby is the universal
virgin-born
co-occupant of the Trinity

It took about 70 years 
for this mythological process to
find a home in the earliest written accounts
the so-called synoptic Gospels
Mark Matthew and Luke
Paul whose writings are earliest
never alludes to details of Jesus

The message to me in this is a sad one
Special effects have always seen as means of going viral
The Jesus I infer wanted to go viral
but because of Abba's way
not special effects
or miracles 
He came to show a way we could achieve a world
based on the willed values of non-idolatry tolerance
helpfulness and democracy


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"Sto Perigiali" One of the Surpassingly Best Tunes Theodorakis Has Written

A Setting for a Poem "Denial" Beloved by the Greek People by the Nobel Prize Winning Poet Giorgos Seferis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhk0ckaCxDI
The remarkable video at the link above is of a performance of "Sto perigiali" Mario Frangoulis and Mikis Theodorakis in 2001.

Frangoulis and Theodorakis are joined by musicians, including two bouzouki players, and a very large audience that is completely familiar with the words. The audience joins in at Frangoulis' prompt.

This is my very favorite Theodorakis melody. Those who know Theodorakis only for his "Zorba" music are in for a treat. When I was in Athens in 1966, for a short period of study with Constantinos Doxiadis, I knew nothing of Theodorakis. But about five years later, my friend Irene Vassos sang "Sto perigiali" to us. I have never gotten the tune out of my mind.

Later, when Irene joined our group to form a travelling company performing "New Rain", I learned to pick out a …

Stephen C. Rose Bio

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and raised there. He currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books "The Grass Roots Church" and "Who's Killing The Church" established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including "We Are All Americans". During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP. Since 2000 he has written several books for distribution via K…