2. The Bible
You said, " . . .but I wonder where the concept of Christ as human male is noted anywhere, if not in Bible."
About the bible. You mention the bible as if it were the ultimate authority in deciding Truth. The bible is not some sacrosanct document that presents an accurate account of events that happened 2000 years ago. It is a hodgepodge of writing (unknown individuals writing about what they had heard happened 50 to 100 years prior to their time) by different writers that were chosen to be "The Bible" because of political factors within the early church (up to 590 AD or CE is considered the early years.)
In fact the declaration that Jesus was God was made in 325 AD by the Council of Nicea. It was not a concept that was taught by his disciples after his death. It was the church founded by Paul (who never met Jesus) among the gentiles that started teaching that Jesus was Divine. This was a raging debate in the early church that led to riots (after Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire in 311 AD) between different factions and led to Emperor Constantine calling the Council of Nicea to decide the matter.
This quote about the early history of the church is from a web site called Religious Tolerance at http://www.religioustolerance.org/toc.htm
"The church had evolved from a small, geographically concentrated institution under the authority of the apostles, to a widespread church under the authority of many bishops. There was no single individual who spoke for the entire church and had the authority to decide matters of belief and practice. Such matters could only be determined by councils at which all of the bishops would debate and attempt to resolve points of difference.
There were 4 councils in all:
1. The first was the Council of Nicea (325 CE) which attempted to resolve the major uncertainty facing the early church: the relationship between Jesus and God. The church recognized the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) which described God in strictly monotheistic terms. But there were references in the Gospels (particularly John) which stated that Jesus was Lord. There were two main theories about the deity of Jesus at the time:
Arius (250 - 336 CE) argued that Jesus and God were very separate and different entities: Jesus was closer to God than any other human being, but he was born a man, and had no prior existence. On the other hand, God has been in existence forever. Arius felt that any attempt to recognize the deity of Christ would blur the lines between Christianity and the Pagan religions. To have separate two gods, the Father and Jesus, would convert Christianity to a polytheistic religion.
Athanasius (296 - 373) argued that Jesus must be divine, because otherwise, he could not be the Savior.
Both Arius and Athanasius had large, closely matched followings among the bishops. The council, under pressure from Emperor Constantine, resolved its deadlock by a close vote in favor of Athanasius. They produced the Nicene Creed, which declared that Jesus Christ was "of one substance with the Father." This did not immediately settle the question of the divinity of Christ; many bishops and churches refused to accept the council's decision for decades."
So, a close vote decided the question of rather Jesus was Divine. The later councils refined this decision to stating that Jesus was both Divine and human, "that Christ had two natures which were without confusion, without change, without division, without separation." (The Council of Chalcedon - 451 CE) Anyone who differed with the official version was branded a heretic and punished.
Here is another quote from the same web site in regards to the recent Jesus Seminar in which a group of the worlds foremost theologians tried to figure out what Jesus actually said and did - (I want to note here that these were theologians who are considered liberal by fundamentalists):
(Some of the) Conclusions of the Jesus Seminar:
"The gospel of John represents a religious tradition that is independent from the synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke). They differ so much that either John or the synoptic gospels must be largely abandoned in the quest for an understanding of Jesus' actual sayings and acts. The Seminar largely rejected John.
Many of Jesus' followers previously followed John the Baptist.
Jesus rarely spoke of himself in the first person. The many "I am" statements in John originated from the gospel author, not from Jesus.
Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah
Jesus did not claim to be God.
Jesus probably talked to his followers and preached in Aramaic. The books in the Christian Scriptures are written in Greek. Thus, even those parts of the Gospels that Jesus is believed to have said, are actually translations into Greek of his original words.
About 18% of the sayings of Jesus recorded in the 4 canonical gospels and Thomas rated a red or pink rating (Jesus definitely or probably said it). The remaining passages attributed to Jesus were actually created by the gospel writers."
These scholars concluded that 18% of the sayings attributed to Jesus were accurate. Jesus was declared divine by a close vote in a highly politically charged atmosphere. These don't sound like the types of information that would indicate that the Bible is a reliable source of information.
It is so important to realize that what is being taught in Christian Churches now is not what has always been taught there. That the bible has changed, been translated, modified to fit the needs (often political and economic) of the church at the time.
(In kind of a comical side note here - The Jesus Seminar concluded that the Gospel of John was so inaccurate as to be completely unreliable - in my few minutes of searching I found a web site that claims that Mary Magdalene was the true author of Gospel of John.)
(I also want to note that any "hodge podge," any "chosen because of political factors," any "unknown author writing down rumors," any "accidents or coincidences" ultimately serve Divine Plan. The Bible is the inspired Word of God (so is Shakespeare for that matter) - but not taken literally. When translated in Metaphysical terms there is great Truth in the Bible.)
Here is an excerpt from my book about the bible. (Underlining added for emphasis in this context.)
"The teachings of all the Master Teachers, of all the world's religions, contain some Truth along with a lot of distortions and lies. Discerning Truth is often like recovering treasure from shipwrecks that have been sitting on the ocean floor for hundreds of years - the grains of Truth, the nuggets of gold, have become encrusted with garbage over the years.
This segues very nicely into:
As one example of this, I am going to discuss the Bible for a moment, because it has been such a powerful force in shaping the attitudes of Western Civilization.
The Bible contains Truth, much of it symbolic or in parable form because most of the audience at the time it was written had very little sophistication or imagination. They did not have the tools and the knowledge we have access to now.
So the Bible does contain Truth - it also contains a lot of distortion. The Bible was translated many times. It was translated by male Codependents.
I am going to share with you a short excerpt from a recently published book. I have not read this book and cannot tell you much about it. I have read a review of this book which appeared in California magazine in November of 1990. What I am sharing here is from that review.
I offer this to you: Not to say that this new translation of the Bible is right and the old one is wrong - it is for you to decide which one feels more like Truth to you. I offer this as I offer everything else that I am sharing here - as an alternate perspective for you to consider.
This book is called The Book of J. It was written by two men - one of whom is a former head of the Jewish Publication Society, the other is a professor of humanities at Yale University. What they have done in this book is to extract what they believe is one voice from the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a compilation of writings by many different writers. That is why there are two conflicting versions of the Creation in Genesis - because it was written by two different people.
They have taken the voice of one of those writers, gone back as far as they could to the original language, and translated it from a different perspective.
Here is a short excerpt from the Old Testament as an example of the difference between their translation and the traditional version. The traditional version is taken from the King James Bible, Genesis 3:16. It says: "And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
Sounds like the normal patriarchal, sexist tone in which we have always accepted that the Bible was written.
Here is the new translation of the exact same phrase: "To your man's body your belly will rise, for he shall be eager above you."
Now to me, "rule over you" and "eager above you" mean two very different things - it actually seems pretty close to being a 180 degree swing in perspective. This new translation sounds as if there is nothing shameful about sex. As if maybe it is not bad to have a normal human sex drive, maybe it is not True that the flesh is weak and the spirit exists somewhere way out there.
The reviewer (Greil Marcus, California magazine, November 1990, Vol. 15, No. 11), without ever quite perceiving the shame connection, says that this book "...is an act of violence...to what we think we know." He says that, "...it's a great change, in the way one sees the human condition." He also states that, "The differences...are many and profound..." and include "... the replacement of 'man became a living soul' with 'man becomes a creature of flesh' - without the distinction between soul and flesh, Christianity, or, as Michael Ventura calls it, Christianism, dissolves."
This retranslation shows that basic misconception and misunderstanding may be at the heart, at the foundation of Western Civilization, or to quote the reviewer, "In other words, the argument is that within Jewish, Christian, and Islamic civilization, certainly within Western Civilization, at its heart - or at its foundation - is a ruin."
What he could not quite put his finger on as the act of violence against the very core of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic civilization is that what this book seems to do is to take the shame out of being human - of being creatures of flesh. There is no shame in being human. We are not being punished by God. It just feels like it sometimes."