reply to post by JimmyBlonde
No doubt the guy thought he was seeing the future and that makes his writing compelling in it's own right but I will tell you one thing. It doesn't
take a genius or a prophet to predict where mankind is headed.
I tried to read Nostradamus’ book when I was in college many years ago. It was hopeless. Just as Mein Kampf was a failure for me. And Das Kapital
and the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. And etc for all the classic German writers.
Like also the Holy Bible. All written by and for people living in totally different eras. 8,000 miles distant. 2,000 years separated. One culture
"talking" to a third culture through an intermediary culture. How can we know anything about the Holy Bible that is applicable to today? How can any
honest person claim those are RULES to live by today?
For instance, can you just imagine how much nicer the world would be if the person who named the first book of the Pentateuch had called it “Origins
of the Israelite People” instead of calling it “Genesis?” But you can also see how convenient a ONE word title is and in this case, a catchy
word at that!
To further illustrate my point I enjoy retelling the story of Jesus and Legion as found in Mark 5:9 and etc. Jesus and others were walking towards a
city when they encountered a naked man who was unkept and lived in a cave. To us today he was obviously a very sick man but post Sigmund Freud,
treatable. Engaging him in conversation, Jesus learned he was afflicted with demons. Multiple personalities. The man asked Jesus to help him. Jesus
Whether Legion was the man’s name or the writer was merely referring to a large number of demons is unclear. 2,000 is the number mentioned. Aside: A
standard Roman Legion of that era varied in size but usually numbered at least 3,200 men strong. End. But dead-on accuracy is not a hallmark of good
story tellers. It is the story that is being told and not the numbers that matter.
For reasons never explained Jesus performed a THREE step exorcism on Legion (assuming that was his name). Step 1) Jesus removed the demons from
Legion but then Step 2) he put the demons into a nearby herd of grazing pigs. Step 3) The pigs went instantly mad, ran down a hill, fell or jumped
over a cliff and into the sea - the Sea of Galilee? Because pigs cannot swim those diving into the water drowned and thereby killed the demons.
[Following the example of Jesus why don't Christian psychiatrists or Catholic priests keep pigs in their office?]
Unlikely you say? Since Sigmund Freud we no longer believe in demons or demon possession. We know better than the folks in the First Century of the
Common Era. We can assume however that the person or persons to whom the writer of Mark spent a lot of money on the velum to record this story, would
know and understand the message contained in the story. With the high cost of writing material in the olden days they did not doodle idly.
What lesson for today can we glean from this fanciful story? For one we already knew Jews don’t like pigs. That’s why the herd was pigs and not
the more likely sheep or goats. Jewish dietary laws were upheld by Jesus. Digression: I am an unreconstructed WASP and for me, pork is best. Give me a
BLT for breakfast and a pork barbecue sandwich with hot mustard based sauce for lunch any day! And throw in a deep fried ear of corn on the cob for my
veggie. Eat healthy I say.
Next and unfortunately, we know from the story Jesus had no regard for the owner of the herd of pigs. The pigs surely were not his. We also know
another item of interest. Keeping in mind that it is neigh on to impossible to manage a herd of 2,000 pigs in that era. Heck, it’s improbable even
in this era. To confine that many pigs to one place back then would require at least 10 to 20 men. That casts serious doubts the writer of Mark meant
the story to be taken literally.
So why did not Jesus just snap his fingers - or make the sign of the cross - and say to Legion, “Be healed, go in peace.” We don’t know. Why
don’t we know? Because we don’t know a hill of beans - an old southern expression for to next to nothing - about life in the First Century along
the eastern coast of the great Mediterranean Sea. Which by the way was the center of the universe to those people. We don’t know what message the
writer was trying to convey. Unless it was don’t keep pigs with Jesus around!
We cannot make heads or tails (tales) out of the “Legion and the pigs” story. Yet it must have meant something to those to whom it was addressed
and to the inhabitants around the region for a very long time. If not, it would not have been incorporated into what came later to be the Holy Writ.
But for us, it is an historical anomaly. Like 99% of the Holy Writ is to us. And not to be taken too seriously today lest we stray into deep do-do.
[edit on 1/7/2009 by donwhite]