I wrote about this today in my blog Attempts at Rational Behavio
r, here is the post:
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
This Bible passage impresses me for two reasons. One, the literal translation is pretty solid. Hate everyone you know, including yourself, or else you can't be my friend.
So the Christian interpretation of this is that the word "hate" has been translated incorrectly from the original Greek. It should mean "love less" therefore you should love no one more than Jesus, as explained here:
[The subject here is the word for hate, which is the Greek miseo. One Skeptic is typical of critics when he writes:
Most Christians feel obligated to soften the face meaning of the word 'hate' to something like 'love less than me,' even though the Greek word miseo means 'hate.'
In line with this comment, Skeptics will stress the meaning of the word "hate" and insist that the word must be read literally, and that Jesus is truly preaching hate. But in fact, the "softening" is correct to do -- and is perfectly in line with the context of the ancient world, and the Jewish culture in particular.]
Many scholars, however, agree the literal translation is accurate. In fact, the word misandry (hatred of men) comes from the Greek miseo (miséο, “to hate”) + andres (anér-andros, “man”). But ok, we'll go with the "love them less" theory.
So we then get to the second reason for why I like this verse. It shows how egotistical Christ can be. Reminds me of an obsessed stalker-like boyfriend. In romantic relationships you can chose to say "fuck off" and even obtain a restraining order from such characters.
In religion we just pray and worship more, because Jesus was God and therefore perfect and more deserving than anything we know of.