On another blog, a reference was made to the Jeffersonian Bible. Having never really looked into this version of the “Holy Word,” I googled a PDF version and perused a few lines. While I admit I haven’t finished it, something jumped off the page at me at the very beginning.
The following passage supposedly takes place shortly after Jesus has been baptized by John:
And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
30 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and
doves, and the changers of money sitting:
31 And when he had made a scourge of cords, he drove them all
out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured
out the changers’ coins, and overthrew their tables;
32 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence;
make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
I’m sure many bible readers are familiar with this event and probably haven’t given it much thought. However, as I read it something puzzling occurred to me. Up to this point, Jesus was just another Jew, right? He didn’t have any special designation as a Jewish priest or any other position of repute.
So what gave him the authority to create this havoc in the temple? Although he did refer to Jewish scripture related to the temple being a house of prayer, this hardly provided justification for his actions. Bottom line is that he was nothing more than an irate Jew who let his temper get the best of him.
Of course, Christians will say that it was John’s “baptism” that suddenly turned Jesus into a mini-god and he now possessed “godly” authority. But in fact, the use of the Jewish mikvah was primarily “a ritual purification and cleansing bath that Orthodox Jews [took] on certain occasions (as before Sabbath or after menstruation).” It didn’t magically turn any of the participants into some kind of god.
So when I considered the actual circumstances in place, it seemed to me that Jesus didn’t have ANY authority to do what he did.
But of course, no one nowadays reads the scriptures as written. Instead, they read the “interpretations” offered by individuals who seem to think they have an inside track on understanding what was happening over 2,000 years ago. So surely, I’m just misinformed, right?