Sweden is a godless country. It is not a score, it is a finding. And one of the gudlöshetens consequences is that we may be missing out on great literature.
I grew up in a bokstavstroende, christian family. My family has many generations of not only christian, but also the driving force in christianity. I have uncles who are monks and in the family tree as my older relatives have amused himself with drawing there are many church servants.
When I was younger was I, for it was assumed that I, as a convinced christian, did not believe in scientific things as the Big Bang. I was one of the best in the school of physics was not counted. It was assumed that science and religion were in conflict, despite the fact that some of the world's most successful scientists are religious. I believed in the Big bang during my childhood and still think it is the best humanity has to say in the matter, so far, in all the cases. But I thought that it was reasonable to point out that the Big bang theory does not answer the question ”why”? It responds not to the question: ”what happened before the Big bang?”. (And the latest research findings about dark matter, can be bad news for the Big bang theory. I note the irony that it may be so that the Big Bang theory is more revised than the catholic church within a few years.)
you do not have to be a christian to appreciate them, for I think they belong to some of history's artisan best stories: the same story, told in four different ways, intended for specific target groups - pagan romans, jews, educated greeks, and the general public. Simplified, one can say that Markus describes a misunderstood messiah and that Matthew gives us a jewish teacher. In the gospel of Luke, it is instead a story about a philosopher who dies for his faith, and John describes a heavenly man, who has come to humanity to tell them about God.
One of the problems with the four gospels, in any case, for those who believe that every word in the Bible is true, is that the four versions occasionally contradict each other. It does of course not worry the reading the texts as literature. To read the gospels as classic does however raise a question. If they are to portray a historical event – how can they be so dramaturgical powered?
My favorite book that analyzes the gospels in this way is called ”Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in rewrite” and came out in 2011. It is written by Michael White, who is a professor at the university in Austin and specialized in religion during the roman period.
in the gospels, is written by God or at least controlled by The Holy Spirit, it is perhaps not surprising that the text flows so well. But for us who think that literature is divine whether there is any God or not, it raises a thought: what if those who wrote the gospels subordinate to the dramaturgical laws? What if it is not the intention to portray Jesus as accurately as possible throughout the story, but the desire to tell a captivating story?
In what is believed to be an early version of the gospel of Mark shows Jesus after his resurrection. An angel at his empty tomb says that the visitors will get to see him anymore. In the other three gospels, however, Jesus will return and eventually (according to many biblical scholars) las a few verses about the second coming of Jesus even in the gospel of Mark.
Reading the gospels as literature is the reason given: the audience prefer happy endings.
Jesus, from a purely dramaturgical perspective, I would say that John's version is my favorite. In particular, he manages to create new bottoms in the story of Jesus. Take death on the cross. In John's version (and not in the other gospels) it is said that they took down Jesus from the cross, did not break his legs as they did with the other crucified. And to fulfil the words of scripture: ”No bone shall be crushed on him”. (Jn 19:36), And for all the that can their bible, so it creates these lines that John added a bow back to the other Mosebokens description of how the lamb would be slaughtered for easter. For the bibelbeläste gives the symbolic words vertigo: everything belongs together – God has seen and been with us throughout human existence.
And for the påsktider wonder if I still believe in a God, I have no good answer. The memory of the cruel långfredagarna then no joy was to be in my barnahjärta live, unfortunately, strong and overshadow the messages of love. So I am thinking still, and it seems to take a lifetime. Until I have a good answer, I try, as best I can, to treat others as I wish to be treated yourself.
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