(Part 2/2) Jesus and Socrates with Dr Dennis R MacDonald

So, last time we were thinking a bit about Mark’s soldier at the cross saying “Now when the centurion who stood facing him saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly (Ἀληθῶς, Alethos) this man was God’s Son!”

The word for “truth” in Greek would carry a number of hearings for the Greek ear. For instance, it meant “correct,” as in a “correct judgment.” But, the first letter of the word “truth” could also be heard as something in grammar called an alpha privative (like in “a-theist” or “a-gnostics”), and so “a-letheia” or “truth” would also mean “un-covering.” For instance, when Jesus says “I am the way, the ‘truth’ and the life,” he doesn’t just mean he is “the correct,” but also “the un-covering” or “re-vealing.” A lot of the imagery about Jesus points this way, and so even the “apocalypse (a prophetic “re-velation”)” of John carries this meaning.

So, for instance, Jesus un-covers for us the true meaning of the law from the hiddeness caused by incorrect common opinion. For example:

(1) “You have heard it said love your neighbor, but I say love your enemy – bless those who persecute you.”

(2) You have heard it said adultery is a physical act, but I say “Anyone who has looked at a woman with a lustful eye has committed adultery.”

In this way, as I have argued in my 3 Modern Library essays on Internet Infidels/Secular Web, the cross of Christ un-covers or dis-closes for us our hidden sinful nature, making repentance possible. Hence, the soldier in Mark above is using the term truth as Ἀληθῶς, (Alethos) in a polysemy (multiple meaning) way. The image of the soldier in Mark is plausibly also pointing to Paul, who inspired Mark, and Paul’s success at converting pagans.

See my 3 essays here:

Justified Lying: https://infidels.org/library/modern/john-macdonald-justified-lie/

A Critique Of The Penal Substitution Interpretation Of The Cross: https://infidels.org/library/modern/a-critique-of-the-penal-substitution-interpretation-of-the-cross-of-christ/

Jesus Mythicism and Penal Substitution: https://infidels.org/library/modern/jesus-mythicism/