On the ‘Psychology of Prophetism’

via H Balakrishnan published on August 8, 2010


Dear Sir,

Reference the Article ” The Man Who Was Bound to God “ – (TNSE – i.witness – 08 Aug).

Here is my ” plainspeak “ on the Article.

I have no problems with anyone practicing any FAITH as long as it respects others also. I also have no problems with anyone being an agnostic or even an atheist. But, I have a serious problem when ‘MYTHS’ are sought to be ‘consecrated as TRUTH & HISTORY’.

My problem with the Article arises , not with the Brother Nandakumar’s ‘communion with Jesus’.My problem arises due to the fact that in this day of rationality & science, andwith Christian theologians in the West, having come out with a multitude of researched tracts, questioning the ‘ very historicity of Jesus Christ ‘. There is another ‘ minor ‘ problem with respect to the ‘secular Indian scene’. I was wondering if Brother Nandakumar, happened to be a Swami Nandakumar, would such an Article be published by the ‘secular’ TNSE? And, if that be in the affirmative, I have no doubts, your readers would have been treated to another ‘OM – HREEM !’ !!  After all , WE ARE ‘SECULAR’ STUPID !! I digress !!

Regarding the ‘ historicity ‘ of the messiah Jesus Christ. Western theologians and historians have raised any number of questions on its validity. Thus, the world famouus historianWill Durant, in his magnum opus The Story of Civilization – Vol iii ” , wrote on the Year of Birth of Jesus Christ: ” Both Mathew and Luke assign Jesus’ birth to ‘the days when Herod was the King of Judea’ – consequently before 3 B.C. Luke, however, describes Jesus as about ‘thirty years old’ when John baptised him ‘in the fifteenth year of Tiberius’, i.e. A.D. 29; this would place Christ’s birth in the year 2 B.C. Luke adds that ‘in those days there went out a decree of Ceasar Augustus that all world should be taxed – – when Quirinius was the governor of Syria’. Quirinius is known to have been jegate in Syria between A.D. 6 and 12; Josephus notes a census by him in Judea but ascribes it to A.D. 6-7. We have no further mention of this census. Tertullian records a census of Judea by Saturninus, Governor of Syria in 8-7 B.C.; if this is the census Luke had in mind, the birth of Christ would have to be placed before 6 B.C.”  (pp 557-558) . Raises the question:

When was Jesus born?

Similalry, there are controversies about the ‘date of birth’ and ‘place of birth’ of Jesus Christ, among Western Christian theologians. There is also a controversy about the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Culled from open source literature, they go as follows. Of the four gospels, Mathew and Luke alone provide Jesus’ Family Tree, in an effort to trace him  back to King David and even Abraham and Adam.But there are huge and irreconcilable differences in the two genealogies, not only in the names of Jesus‘ ancestors, but also inthe number of generations.There are only three names that are common in the two family trees. Even the name of Joseph’s father and Jesus’ grandfather are not the same. Mathew accomodates 28 and Luke 41 generations of Jesus’ ancestors in the SAME SPAN OF TIME.

In the light of the foregoing and many further research into the historicity of Jeus Christ by Western theologians, Michael Arnhein in his ” Is Christianity True ” (1984), wrote: ” Bythe early twentieth century, the so-called ‘quest for the historical Jesus‘ was bogged down in negativism. The Gospels, according to an influential school of Protestant theologians, wer to be taken as THEOLOGICAL rather than as HISTORICAL documents, and they could yield NO authentic information about the life and deeds, or even sayings and teachings, of Jesus “. Continuing, Arnheim wrote: ” With this we are back to square one: by what criterion may the truth or falsehood of Christianity be judged ? To base one’s acceptance of a religion upon blind faith or unsupported trust gives on no right to claim the superiority of that religion over any other religion, nor does it entitle one to assert the truth of that religion. And yet there is no religion in the world which is more insistent than Christianity upon its claim to truth or more confident of its superiority to all other faiths”.

In an excellent treatise – Psychology of Prophetism : A Secular look at the Bible “,Voice of India, New Delhi, (1993), the Belgian scholar Dr. Koenraad Elst wrote:  ” The point is simply that we, European Christians of many generations, have outgrown Christianity. Most people who left the Church have found that they are not missing anything, and that the beliefs which once provided a framework for interpreting and shaping life, were but a bizarre and unnecessary construction after all. We now know that jesus was not God’s Only-begotten Son, that he did not save humanity from eternal sin, and that our happiness in this world or the next does not depend on believing these or any other dogmas. When staying in India, I find it sad and sometimes comical to see how these outdated beliefs are being foisted upon backward sections of the Indian population by fanatical missionaries. In their aggressive campaign to sell their product, the missionaries are helped a lot by sentimental expressions of admiration for Christianity on the part of leading Hindus. – – – And they base their whole attithde to Christianity on what I know to be a selective, incoherent and unhistorical version of the available information on Jesus’ life and teachings”.

Dr. Elst, in the same book, then describes the ‘crisis of Faith‘ that overtook Dr. Herman H. Sommers (1921 – 2003). ” An accomplished scholar with acclaimed contributions in many fields of learning. He studied in Leuven [Belgium] and Rome, and was an M.A. in Philosophy, PhD. in Classical Philology (i.e. Latin and Greek), PhD. in Theology, and PhD. in Psychology. For 40 years he was in the Jesuit Order. – – -.  As he studied the Bible more closely, he developed doubts about its divine character. In the face of unexpected findings inconvenient to the Faith, he refused to renounce scientific statndards, and drew his conclusions. In what he describes as a painful process, he grew away from the Christian Faith, and left the Jesuit Order. – – -. In 1986, he published the book: Jesus the Messiah: was Christianity a Mistake”, written in Dutch. It is ground breaking exploration of the psycho-pathologicalsyndromes accurately described in the New Testament, especially of Jesus’ mental condition. In 1990, he published a more voluminous sequel, this time also dealing with the Old Testament prophets. It is called [English translation] : ” When God Slept, man wrote the Bible- The Bible explained by a Psychologist”.

In the light of the foregoing, Dr. Koenraad Elst, offers the following mature and sage advice to Hindus : ” What Hindus who have been trapped in a sentimental glorification of Jesus and other prophets will have to learn, is that the essence of Hindu Dharma is not ‘tolerance’, or ‘equal respect for all religions’, but, “SATYA” – TRUTH. The problem with Christianity  and Islam is superficially their intolerance and fanaticism. But this intolerance is a consequence of these religions’ untruthfulness: if your belief system is based on delusions, you have to pre-empt rational inquiry into it and shield it from contact with more sustainable thought systems [Sanatana Dharma]. The fundamental problem with monotheist religions is not that they are intolerant, but that they are untrue – ASATYA or ANRITA”.

And the final KAYO punch: ” Prophetism has caused innumerable hardships without giving anything in return. Not one of the valuable things in the cultures dominated by it, can be traced to their prophetic-monotheistic component. Its source has more often than not been mental darkness. Today, there is no justification for keeping humanity in the mental prison of prophetism any longer”.

What says Mr. Shivaprakash?

Have A Great Sabbath

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