Questions about the Bible and its interpretations
I am puzzled by the explanations you promote of Biblical stories and teachings. Please understand that I am not assuming you are wrong. First of all, why is it that the Bible would not have just come out and said those things in the way you explain it? Why word things in such a way as to create confusion? Would it be better to not know at all than to get it wrong? Why do some historians not buy Jesus in India? Can you recommend some sources I might be unaware of? Thanks.
Thank you for your thoughtful questions. I will answer them in the order you have asked them.
1) "Why is it that the Bible would not have just come out and said those things in the way you explain it?"
The Bible was written in several languages, by many authors, many thousands of years ago. It has gone through hundreds of translations and interpretations. Some of its authors were people of great spiritual enlightenment. Some of less of such enlightenment. It's a mixed bag. Plus it is a well known fact that it has been tampered with greatly.
Much was removed. Many things were subtracted which might be of great help to us now. This was done in the name of helping the early Christian church become organized and its teachings effective and clear. Unfortunately, it didn't work very well. Yogananda says about this that: "Christianity very quickly became 'churchianity' and the beauty and depths of Jesus Christ's teachings were quickly lost in theological quarrels." He also said that: "Jesus was crucified once, but his teachings have been crucified every day since."
Remember also that much of the Bible was written in the depths of Kali Yuga, the darkest age that our planet has been through recently. The fact that anything pure and true came out of such a tumultuous time is pretty amazing. It would take a great Avatar like Yogananda to be able to sift through what is left and pull out the correct interpretations — which is exactly what he did.
2) "Why word things in such a way as to create confusion?"
I think the authors of the Bible were people of good will and did the best they could to write of their experiences, never meaning to cause confusion. But centuries of time and much tinkering causes this sort of confusion to happen. Another thing is that some of them actually wrote in code and symbols. It was not safe for them to write clearly. An example of this is the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, written by St. John the Beloved. He wrote it while in prison to several struggling new Christian communities around the Mediterranean. Yogananda calls this book "pure yoga." But John knew he had to "encode" it for it to be able to ever leave his prison and reach its destinations. When you unlock the "code" you begin to see what John was trying to do.
3) "Would it be better to now know at all than to get it wrong?"
Jesus answered this by saying: "Those who have ears to hear, let them hear." Meaning that if you can understand it you are blessed. If you cannot understand it, then you are still blessed in some way, even if you "get it wrong." We get many things wrong when we try to understand spiritual teachings in the beginning of our spiritual search. But with our sincere, right intentions and by being willing to persevere in seeking truth, forever, if necessary, then the grace of God and the Great Ones always comes to us to reveal what is right and what is not right.
4) "Why do some historians not buy Jesus in India?"
Get several historians together and you'll find there is probably going to be disagreement on just about every subject there is. You just have to decide who you want to trust. Personally I have come to trust Paramhansa Yogananda's and Swami Kriyananda's teachings on the Bible and on all other spiritual matters. If they say it is so, and others disagree, or even if I disagree, I've learned to relax and pray and wait for the truth to be revealed to me from inside my own higher Self. This works well.
5) "Can you recommend some sources I might be unaware of?"
In divine friendship,
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