Reflections on reading
«The God of Jesus in Light of Christian Dogma
– The Recovery of New Testament Theology»
by Kegan A. Chandler
In Mark 12:28-34, Yeshua (Jesus) answers the scribe who asked him what the greatest commandment was: the Shema, the most fundamental prayer of Judaism, from Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Roughly 500 years after Yeshua (Jesus) answered the scribe in this way, the Shema actually got banned, by a Christian emperor, the same who build the massive Hagia Sophia still standing today. Guards were patrolling the synagogues to enforce the ban, in accordance with the new Corpus Juris Civilis. What had happened? A tenet of Christianity had taken hold, one that theologians admit does not come from the bible but rather, was “slowly worked out in the course of the first few centuries”  That’s a pretty bold assertion. But then, this is a bold concept, the Trinity. And Kegan Chandler gives a very detailed historical account of how this doctrine, so alien to Jewish thought, was received into the Christian tradition.
The protestant reformation established the principle of “sola scriptura”, that all doctrine must be based on scripture, and abolished transubstantiation (the belief that the communion wafer physically becomes the flesh of Christ), the primacy of the Pope, letters of indulgence and some other unbiblical traditions, yet somehow gave Trinity a wide berth. Protestantism did not take Christianity back to square one but partially reformed the fully formed religion of Catholicism.
Christianity was, and is a compromise between unitarian monotheism as believed by the Jews, and pagan polytheism. Christians do not believe in one true God, they have aligned with other pagan religions believing in trinities or sets of three godheads, be it Babylonian, Egyptian (Isis, Osiris and Horus, or Amun, Re and Ptah) or Hinduist (Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva). Christian culture has then superimposed this concept onto the scriptures. There are very good reasons for this, not the least of which is that it helped enormously to spread the gospel, as evangelists engaged in the philosophical debates of the time. They did get sucked into the common mythological beliefs and made compromises, and thus Christianity turned into a new religion, rather than being what it originally was, the continuation of the story of the Creator of the Universe with Hers creation. So, to phrase it flippantly briefly, Christians do not believe in the God of the Jews. Which is odd, because their founder Yeshua, a man of God, did.
If this Yeshua would have been God himself, then his life on earth would be nothing I could imitate, for I am not God. Only if he was a man like me, following him becomes plausible (again) – understanding that all these struggles I have he had also (Heb 4:15), but through character, upbringing and an unwavering obedience to the Spirit of God, he decided to go the path of righteousness in every instance.
It is amazing to go back into Hebrew culture and start believing what they believed. I’m still daunted by some of the ramifications this may have, but it’s a journey, one day at a time. I haven’t finished reading the book, and maybe will expand this page later on with what I learn…
 Chandler is here quoting A. T. Hanson: «The Image of the Invisible God» (London: SCM Press, 1982), p.87
Here’s a website containing very detailed explanations of this whole of “Christendom’s Golden Calf” also: