Back from NYC and reading picked up a pace.
Hoping to renew my faith, books on the gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the historic Jesus.
But things weren't turning out as I thought they would.
The historical evidence for Jesus other than the Gospels was sparse-
Josephus, Pliny, Tactitus.
Looked at in context and with the possibility of interference from later Christians wanting to strengthen their case, it was weak, especially when reading all Josephus & Tactitus wrote.
Surely if 500 people had seen a dead man rise, there would be more than this recorded about the events?
If Christianity had spread as quickly as in the Acts?
Was there a bit of exaggeration going on?
And why no documents found amongst the contempory DSS?? The one possibility I put my hopes on- a fragment- was hotly disputed by most scholars. 20 letters, many unclear did not a gospel make.
And the gospel evidence started to weaken.
One of the books I got was OTT, in my opinion, but contained a wealth of information about the gospels and their context in the period. Another on the Essenes was less provocative, but still put early Christianity as just another Jewish sect until the dispersal.
I went back to Geza Vermes and looked at the evidence there that alteration occured to make the prophecies appear correct- the famous one about Matthew and
the ass and the colt sprung to mind.
Suddenly everything came flailing around
The assumption? Infallible??
The Immaculate Conception???
The basis on which my faith was built, the rock was no longer there.
I still spoke daily with God, prayed, held on to my "relationship" but began to
wonder how much of it was an emotional delusion. And prayers became more and more desperate.
Everything started to become fuzzy, out of focus.
I finished the Karen Armstrong books with a sinking heart
Was my belief a myth too?
Reading the gospels just made things worse- the picture I had of Christ, of God suddenly contrasted with what I was reading.
Love, yes, but punishment and harshness
Weeping and gnashing of teeth
And I prayed to understand but nothing..
Nothing at all.
Entry 15th November:
Loosing my marbles (if found please return asap)
I keep forgetting to take my tablets
I know I have later on in the day when my heart starts pounding
I even wrote the days of the week on the box so I could check I'd taken them
in the morning
Just forgot to look
Think I'm slowly falling apart!
Elsewise, my brain has been too busy trying to sort out problems to think
about philosphical issues, issues of life and death
And too busy trying to get certain sons to do certain art projectsI'll do it
at the weekend is the latest plea
Still if he's as tired as me...Anyhow tomorrow=day off and I shall go out all
I did think of going to York or London, but it's too far given the way I feel,
so I think I'll go to either Hay or Glastonbury
Sit in the Mystical Abbey and dwell on Myths and legends of yore
And ponder how mythological are the things to which we now hold...
(Who did they think they were trying to kid?
The Holy Grail? King Arthur's tomb? Still, brought the revenue in...)
Enough with the cynicism
On with the prayers
As I'm getting no closer and no less fuzzy...
Lord, hear my prayer
And I want to believe
Help thou my unbelief