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By L. Gordon Rylands

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Extra resources for DID JESUS EVER LIVE ?

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How could anybody know what Jesus was feeling 1 Le Dieu jesus, p. 18 7 . THE STORY OF THE PASSION 49 and praying while the disciples were asleep ? The best explanation of the scene is that it is the trans­ cription of part of the mystery-drama of the Jesus­ cult. 1 Gethsemane is not the name of a real place. It means the " wine-press of olives," and has been made up by connecting the Mount of Olives with a recollection of " the wine-press of divine suffering " (Isaiah lxiii. 2) . " The reference in Isaiah to blood-stained garments contributed to the transference of the simile to Jesus.

But a deter­ mining factor may have been the desire to bring the event into conformity with a verse in the 22nd Psalm : " The assembly of the wicked have en­ closed me ; they pierced my hands and my feet. " 1 Thus we get an explanation of the inconsistency of the narrative. Such incon­ sistencies did not worry the writers. The site of the crucifixion is shown to visitors to Jerusalem ; but the belief that the site shown is the real Golgotha rests upon a very insecure foundation. " 2 The word Golgotha was written in Aramic Golgoltha, and in Hebrew Gulgoleth.

Robertson, The Jesus Problem, p . 43· It is scarcely possible that a Galilean prophet can have been thus acclaimed at Jerusalem. THE STORY OF THE PASSION 47 not' about to be shed-for many. " It is certain that in the early Christian Church the bread and wine were believed to be the body and blood of Jesus. " 1 And Irenreus says explicitly that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. 2 They were named thusia, which is the regular Greek term for a sacrificial victim. And it was customary for the officiating priest, after cutting the bread into the form of a cross, to pronounce the words : " the Lamb of God is sacrificed, he who carries the sin of the world.

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