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Construction outside history. The miraculous turns its back on history. One cannot rationally do battle with downpours of frogs or anvils, any more than with dead men emerging from their tombs to dine with their families. As for the paralyzed or sufferers from dropsy or hemorrhoids, suddenly restored to health by the stroke of a magic wand, we should steer clear of such topics. A word that heals, speech that cures, a gesture that leads to physiological miracles, is beyond us if we stick to the terrain of pure reason. To understand them we must think in terms of symbols, allegories, stylistic effects. Reading the Gospels requires the same approach as the classical prose of antiquity or Homeric poems: surrender to literary effect and renunciation of the critical spirit. The labors of Hercules signify extraordinary strength, the pitfalls of Ulysses illustrate his cunning and intelligence. The same goes for Jesus, whose reality and truth do not reside in their connection with established facts but in what they signify: the extraordinary power, the enormous strength of a man participating in a world bigger than he is.

The Englishman John Langshaw Austin coined the term performative utterances for a class of statements that perform an action as opposed to merely reporting or describing it. The Gospel genre is performative (to borrow Austin's term): simply declaring something is true creates its truth. The testamental stories are indifferent to the real, the probable, or the true. On the other hand, they deploy a power of language that by dint of affirmation creates what it declares. The prototype of the performative is the priest who proclaims a couple married. By the very act of articulating a formula he makes the event correspond with the words that signify it. Jesus did not obey history but the perfor-mativity of the testaments.

The evangelists despise history. Their apologetic choice permits it. There was no need for their stories to have actually happened, no point in having the real coincide with the formulation of the narrative given to it. It is enough for the words to produce their effect — to convert the reader and elicit from him agreement on the character and his teaching. Were the authors of the New Testament conscious of this myth? I do not think so. It was neither conscious, nor deliberate, nor systematically thought out. Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John did not knowingly deceive. Neither did Paul. They were deceived, for they said that what they believed was true and believed that what they said was true. None of them had encountered Jesus physically, but all credited this fiction with a real existence, in no way symbolic or metaphorical. Clearly they believed what they wrote. Intellectual self-intoxication, ontological blindness.

All of them credited a fiction with reality. By believing in the fable they told, they infused it with more and more substance. Proof of the existence of a truth is often reducible to the sum of errors repeated until they become received truth. Thus the probable nonexistence of an individual, about whom one spins details over several centuries, finally evolves into a mythology to which assemblies, cities, nations, empires, and a whole planet subscribe. The evangelists created a truth by harping on fictions. Paul's militant ardor, Constantine's coup d'état, and the repressions of the Valentinian and Theodosian dynasties did the rest.

The Marketers Success Affirmation

The Marketers Success Affirmation

Learning How To Be An Internet Idol And Using Affirmations Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life And Success! Utilizing affirmations and some tools is a way to restrict criticism of yourself and other people. Affirmations help you in training your brain to be more about final results and to a lesser extent about quibbling. How we talk to ourselves really does regulate the type of energy we vibrate and what that draws into our life experiences.

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