A Canaanite woman begs Jesus to heal her daughter. But she is not one of Jesus’ people, and Jesus (before healing the girl) responds harshly to the woman, even calling her a dog.
Opinion: The passage is from Matthew 15:21-28. And it is true, Jesus comes off like a nasty head-tripper. Oh, you’re inferior but because you have great faith I’ll heal your daughter, anyhow. Another way this has been construed is that the original Greek word kunarios usually interpreted as ‘dogs’ really means ‘puppies.’
Well, just the other day someone called me a pup in an email and I took it as a kindly and affectionate gesture.
So there’s always room for debate. However, in the entire context of this passage, I would agree that Jesus seems mean and racist.
But here’s the rub. Jesus did not always go about his business speaking Koine Greek. First and foremost he spoke Aramaic. We don’t know how well he spoke the ancient Greek dialect, if at all. And the gospel of Matthew was written about 85 years after Jesus’ birth. 85 years is a pretty long time, even by ancient standards. Is it possible that a bit of political bias crept into the minds of whoever wrote the text?
I think so.
So the question remains, did Jesus ever say such a thing?
If he did, some say this indicates that he was “human,” which is a euphemistic way of saying it’s okay to be a creep.
If he didn’t, then some unknown writer added or added to the dialog later and vulgar politics crept into this portion of the New Testament.
Political bias obviously creeps into the Old Testament, why not the New Testament?
The bottom line is that unless we are some kind of super-mystic with a pipeline to God, most of us cannot know. And all the talk on the matter is essentially shrouded in mystery.
—Michael Clark, Ph.D.
As the founder and admin. of Earthpages I write on a variety of topics, usually offering shorter, easy to read comments instead of lengthy tomes. IMO complicated, elitist writing styles and the flaunting of knowledge of assorted languages within some academic papers tends to obscure or almost entirely mask lousy, irrational arguments or worse. In some cases, I think this is done out of ignorance and other times as a political and economic ploy. In grad studies, for instance, it was said that one professor cynically claimed that “A university is a place where a professor can get a paycheck.” Just like in ancient days, politics and writing are rarely separate. My doctorate is in psychology and religion and is online: Synchronicity and poststructuralism: C. G. Jung’s secularization of the supramundane.