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The Authentic Sayings of Jesus of Nazareth ?

Posted on 2015-01-10
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Last Modified: 2015-01-25
The Authentic Sayings of Jesus of Nazareth

Briefly, first (top) ten were (link has verbose):

1. Turn the Other Cheek:
2. Give Your Coat:
3. Blessed are the Poor:
4. Go the Second Mile:
5. Love Your Enemies:
6. The Leavened Bread:
7. Render to Caesar:
8. Give to Those Who Ask:
9. Blessed are the Hungry:
10. Blessed are Those Who Weep:

Simplifying MQ (attempt):

- Do these ten 'sound like' they be from same source, even today?
- Do you have another as preference for top ten list?
-- (likewise, to exclude one)
- Do try to discuss

[note to self: do try to find path to switch roles]
Question by:SunBow
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Accepted Solution

tliotta earned 140 total points
ID: 40543873
Very hard to tell anything about "sources".

First difficulty is 'original' source. Even if Jesus was accurately quoted at any time, there's no way to know if he was himself quoting or paraphrasing something he'd heard earlier.

Next, if I review many sayings from Mark Twain or Will Rogers or any fairly well known 'witticist', I can always find some that seem not match up with others. And perhaps the odd ones were not original, or perhaps the person had enough mental depth to see into many different aspects of life.

Finally, we live in a time when it's possible to capture effectively perfect images and sound recordings of what some people say. Yet the next day we can find misquotes that distort the meanings of the original utterances. A couple example famous misquotes:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Voltaire
"Just the facts, ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday
"Danger, Will Robinson!" The Robot

Many examples can be found of attributions that aren't true. Members here could surely create a long list. Yet it's widely expected that Jesus quotes are accurate when not written until perhaps decades after his death and perhaps by those who never met him.

We never met the man, so it seems to have little meaning to speculate on what might or might not have been spoken by him. His importance is in his impact on people's lives.

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Author Comment

ID: 40546076
So while my intent was to refer to the elongated quotes, you've rather supported the attempt to use 'brief' to simply the MQ and dodge any current varied translation. So I'll likewise kick in three:

Play it again, Sam.
Excuse me while I kiss this guy
Beam me up, Scotty

Although the 2nd was used by the artist after hearing of it, going with flow to point of identifying the guy on stage

We're also rather dodging any notion of science being part of assessments, or whether one can be that objective about the subjective.

But idea's that if compilation are attributed to single person, then which  would be most likely to have been from that person? Can you try hand at one, or three?

This also dodges question of originality, where person may simply be quoting/misquoting someone else, it being that their choice to say it was of value.

I'll give it a whack, and likely make it up differently another day:

1. Turn the Other Cheek:

 - I can be hesitant. not wanting to overreact - or misinterpret

?. Do unto others

- Makes sense, balance to get free will, and compadre

4. Go the Second Mile:

- While preferring to watch from sidelines, I tend to side with "In for a dime, in for a dollar", be a 'can do', and get to be a little feisty while at it. I don't think I'd do a third mile.

Those I can agree on then for some individual, while as for the person in question, it has to be #1

7. Render to Caesar:

Because of the politics of the end game needs it, it makes sense then, although I cannot think up a modern or personal equivalent. The other quotes are more about the gathering of the flock.

I can also be partial to giving, opposed to loaning/lending to or from others. Saves on details and collection grief. So some other day I might prefer some quote on those lines.
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Assisted Solution

tliotta earned 140 total points
ID: 40552439
Yeah, I took the route of Do try to discuss. I'm back here now because I wondered if anyone else had commented, and a new comment showed up. It's not clear if others have any question at all on 'authenticity'. It's never been an issue for me. I've always simply accepted the words as valid without needing to assign attribution. They're essentially all simply 'good words'.

I can't really imagine how to assign any likelihood to any of them. None seem more or less likely to me. There is at least one other reason beyond the ones I gave -- idioms.

So much of common language involves phrasing that has nuances that doesn't translate well if at all. Starting from the original spoken language, then paraphrasing into ancient Greek, then translating to English... it's impossible to know how similar or different the sayings are are today. We have no useful idea how words were used in the original spoken language.

Time flies like an arrow.

Time will pass in a manner similar to how an arrow will pass.
The timing of flies should be done the same way you would time an arrow.
The variety of flies known as "time flies" is attracted to arrows.
Measure the speed of flies that resemble arrows.

We don't always know what we're saying in our own language. The interpretation resulting in a translation can be very different from the original.

The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak -> Good liquor, but terrible meat

I imagine Jesus speaking in sentences using common speech patterns. I have zero sense of what common idioms existed and were in use, and I have seen no evidence that any scholars know much more than I do. There is simply too little written material from that region in the common spoken language. The vast majority of what was written and later rediscovered is more formal and gives no sense of spoken forms.

So, I'm stuck. They all seem fine to me.

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Assisted Solution

sbdt8631 earned 60 total points
ID: 40554002
Which of these phrases that are two thousand years old, and as Tom points out, written down at least a generation after the fact and then translated numerous times, may have been actually uttered by a person for whom there is no real evidence even existed?  I am not sure how to answer that other than pure speculation.
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Author Comment

ID: 40568946
>  His importance is in his impact on people's lives.

Not the question, not in question. A subsequent question could be if result changed impact.

>  I can always find some that seem not match up with others.

That is the question.

I think one survey used simple either/or balls, black and white. Where least match gets a black, one then has an extra white to cast. Then they add 'em up, but not approaching a form of acceptable math (math not the question)

> to capture effectively perfect images and sound recordings of what some people say

That I think was both for the question and the subsequent analysis (can meaning transmit over time)

> None seem more or less likely to me.

-and, IMO any survey or poll should not ignore such a result, even were you intended participant - recognized theologian (especially so)

> We don't always know what we're saying in our own language.

I can readily admit to being prime example

> how to answer that other than pure speculation.

yes, that is the question - to speculate
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 40568948
[Abandoned (3 Days)]

I think part of concluding of above is that answering well - or even not well is a little beyond reach.

Unasked/unanswered is my own tendency to report that while majority believe there was a human referred to as Jesus -> none think he wrote down squat to mistranslate or not - and likely none (but rambunctious kid Mark) ever wrote either during lifetime of that person.

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