The good news of the gospel, as John understands it, is not that you–a wretched, miserable, fallen sinner–have been rescued from your fate and saved from your deserved punishment by the invasive power of a supernatural, heroic God who came to your aid. Nowhere does John give credibility to the dreadful, guilt-producing and guilt-filled mantra that “Jesus died for my sins.” There is rather an incredible new insight into the meaning of life. We are not fallen; we are simply incomplete. We do not need to be rescued, but to experience the power of an all-embracing love. Our call is not to be forgiven or even to be redeemed; it is to step beyond our limits into a new understanding of what it means to be human. It is to move from a status of self-consciousness to a realization that we share in a universal consciousness. John’s rendition of Jesus’ message is that the essence of life is discovered when one is free to give life away, that love is known in the act of loving and that the call of human life is to be all that each of us can be and then to be an agent of empowering others to be all they can be.~ The Fourth Gospel:Tales of a Jewish MysticJohn Shelby Spong
John Shelby Sprong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark for twenty-four years. Since then he has taught at Harvard, Drew, The University of the Pacific, and the Berkeley Graduate Theological Union. Selling over a million copies, his books include Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, Eternal Life: A New Vision, and Why Christianity Must Change or Die. He lives with his wife, Christine, in Morris Plains, New Jersey. Visit him at www.JohhShelbySprong.com.
From a Bible.org article we learn:
In 1887, Sayce first noted the parallels between Genesis 1 and the Egyptian cosmogony of Hermopolis: “the chaotic deep; the ‘breath’ moving on the waters; the creation of light; the emergence of the hill ‘in the middle of the waters.’” Unfortunately, his work was largely ignored.In 1933 and 1934, Yahuda identified several similarities between Genesis 1-2 and ancient Egyptian texts. He also identified Egyptian influence throughout the Pentateuch.In 1982, Cyrus Gordon showed similarities between the Egyptian and Hebrew traditions of the creation of man. He drew several parallels between the creation tradition of Khnum, the potter-god, and Genesis 2:4-25
Because of Ma’at, the Ancient Egyptians knew that everything in the universe worked on a pattern, just as, later on the Greeks called the underlying order of the universe logos (meaning, order, pattern).
and the Word (Logos) was with God,
and the Word (Logos) was God.
As depicted below in a scene from the Papyrus of Ani, the Feather of Maat was involved in the Weighing of the Heart, which was an essential stage of the journey into the afterlife. The heart of the deceased was placed on the scales and weighed against the Feather as a test of purity.
From an article we learn that Sir Isaac Newton studied the Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) god Djehuty (Thoth) in the form of Hermes Trismegistus:
By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you…. Hence am I called [Thrice-Greatest Djehuty], having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.