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B'hommad

Jesus also says somewhere that the kingdom of God is among you. I had a teacher long ago, a Catholic priest who didn't wear the backwards collar, who said that this meant that Jusus was just a rabbi who had figured out that the best you could do for heaven was to make it on earth by treating your neighbor right and forgiving his trespasses.

This priest was a scholar into classifying gospels by how many years after 1 AD the authors were born, and into trying to figure out what Jesus really taught. I doubt that it bothered him much to have realized that there is no God.

Your guy could be the same, or he could be a lunatic rapturist. You could ask him and he'd probably be happy to tell you.

Belvoir

A former altar boy and rather lapsed Catholic myself, I also do not recall Jesus ever making such grandiose claims for himself. To "establish a Kingdom of God on Earth" implies a sort of militaristic vanity , a literal idea of a shining city on a hill in worldly terms. With all the hierarchy a kingdom implies. Jesus was not much of a fan of monarchies, empires, elites.

I'm struck by the cryptic mystery and beauty of what you quoted though: "My kingdom is not of this world". Something otherworldly, not literal, a state of mind or a state of grace perhaps. Zen, peace, a communion of love and compassion , an imagined state of enlightenment for man. Against the brutal reality of life among the poor in Roman-occupied Judea. I don't know, certainly. But it's poetic and mysterious, that quote.

actor212

"Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Um, Yea. It's an interpretation you could make.

On the other hand, in the Nicene creed (or I think you guys call it the catechism) Jesus is specifically alloted the kingdom of heaven, where he will sit until the judgment of the quick and the dead.

Victoria

No matter what sense or nonsense one makes of it...and I can see it going both ways, depending on one's ability to make poetry out of the old words ...isn't the problem that the Catholic Church does have a big commitment to kingdoms?

SimplerDave

Okay, British liberal non-conformist interpretation: Christ's kingdom is not of THIS world - fallen, broken - so he has come to establish a Kingdom of God on Earth - that is, start the process of getting things back to how they should be (establish = initiate, not conquer). Your priest may have been a bit less if and maybe about it, but that's my understanding & it's what I preach - allows for the possibility of hope & redemption, which is always big with me.

Michael Bartley

As a former altar boy, I can only say that I was too nervous about getting the damn candles lit before my hands started shaking to pay attention to what some old priest was saying. Besides, in my church, mass was said in Latin so, I really have no idea what was going on. Glad I could help.

lina

I recommend to you "The Five Gospels" by The Jesus Seminar.

http://www.amazon.com/Five-Gospels-Really-Search-Authentic/dp/006063040X

Anything put into place by the 4th century crowd at Nicea is a complete human construct, i.e., an intellectual model for a religion loosely based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

I also recommend "The Diamond in Your Pocket" by Gangaji.

http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Your-Pocket-Discovering-Radiance/dp/1591795524/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267464695&sr=1-1

"The kingdom of God is among you" has also been translated as "The kingdom of God is within you."

The truth is - God has never left the soul.

Timothy J. Mannion

The political realities of the times flavor the speech of the speaker. That being said, Jesus spoke in parables that were relevant to his contemporaries. That being said: nearly everthing attributed to Him is conjecture, flavored by memory, salted with human purpose, and sadly tasted by too few. The quote of Jesus is said during his cross-examination (pun intended) by Pontius Pilate: "Are you the king of the Jews?", and His response: "That is your term." (Luke), or "You are the one who is saying it" (Mark), or "As you say" (Matthew), "Are you saing this on your own, or have others been telling you about me?" (John). And John's gospel continues: "My kingdom does nto belong to this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my subjects would be fighting to save me from being handed over to the Jews. As it is, my kingdom is not here." So, in his own words, the "kingdom" ain't local. Presumably, that means it is a spiritual kingdom, or 'realm'. It's more about attitude than anything else.

Samuel

To quote from a class I once took in church, this is not a temporal kingdom, but a transcendental one. What he (the professor taking the class) meant by that was, it transcends both time and place. So kingdom of God does not necessarily translate to a political meaning, though I can see how easy and tempting it is to make it so.

And everything that Timothy has said in the previous comment.

actor212

"So, in his own words, the "kingdom" ain't local."

Semantic quibble, which I'll expand on in a moment.

Jesus' kingdom was not of this earth, no.

God (the Father) is the kingdom Jesus was trying to establish on earth.

That does actually make a difference. Think about how hard rabbinical scholars spin words, and you'll see that Jesus' words matter.

The problem, of course, is which words were Jesus'

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