|Image: adapted from Raphael’s Transfiguration|
Here are some examples of bad moral guidance given by the Jesus portrayed in the Gospel called Mark.
The Gospel called Mark was the first to be written. It was written about 65-70 CE, and it has no virgin birth and no detail of the resurrection.
At this stage, the Jesus character was still an apocalyptic human preacher warning people that the world was coming to an end within the lifetime of those listening to him.
Jesus says that the reason he speaks in parables is to confuse outsiders in case they understand him and are saved from Hell (4:10-14).
4:10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the [d]mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’
Jesus sends demons into a large herd of pigs who then drown (5:11-13).
5:11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
Jesus says that cities that do not receive his disciples will be treated worse than Sodom and Gomorrha on the day of judgment (6:11).
6:11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
Jesus criticises Pharisees for not obeying the law of Moses that anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death (7:9-10).
7:9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’
Jesus says that you should cut off your own hand and foot, and pluck out your own eye, if they cause you to risk being thrown into Hell where the worms that eat them do not die and the fire is not quenched (9:42-48).
“9:42 But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’”
[In 45-48 this is then repeated for cutting off your foot and plucking out your eye]
Jesus tells a man to sell everything he owns and give the money to the poor (10:17-21)
10:21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.
Jesus says that anyone who is not baptised will be condemned (16:16).
16:16 He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
All of this puts aside the question of whether Jesus existed, and the question of how the Bible was written and by whom. This article focus only on examples of the bad moral guidance given by the Jesus portrayed in the Gospel called Mark.