My concern is that much of the New Testament clearly is not a reflection of the teachings of Jesus (just the theorizing of Paul and others), so that to teach the Bible without discernment can in fact be going against the teachings of Jesus.  For example, Jesus envisioned a providential god, like a loving parent, whereas Paul’s Yahweh-god who demands the bloody sacrifice of his Son as appeasement is an entirely different sort of god. 


Perhaps “learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” is Jesus’ clear rebuttal to any who would think like Paul in this regard.  Jesus agrees with someone who says love of God is more important than animal sacrifice (Mark 12:28 – 33; see also Hebrews 10:1-11).  Could Jesus’ distain for animal sacrifice be part of what got him killed?  How ironic then that he has become the “sacrificial offering” for many, but certainly not all Christians.  While Silent Unity does not preach against the idea of “Jesus-The-Sacrifice,” it gives it zero emphasis, focusing instead on Grace and personal relationships with God, just as Jesus did.  


I so long to hear the words of Jesus without the distortions of Paul and other biographers.


Well, that was where I was coming from a few years ago.  Now I am questioning whether some of the reactionary ideas in the New Testament (angry-god, appeasement) were put there very deliberately so that we, as students still learning, could ingest them, analyze them, compare them to contrasting ideas, and finally reject the old.


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