Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Finding the "Historical" Jesus in Your Mirror

When you start reading this article, you almost think that it was written by a member of the Jesus Seminar. Then you get to the end of the article and find out that it was written by an associate member of the Jesus Seminar. The author tells us about "how the teachings of Jesus were changed into a religion about Jesus". And:

"The seminar’s scholars have published scores of works on what has come to be called the 'historical' Jesus. Their completely new translation of the New Testament gospels into contemporary American English needed to pass no doctrinal litmus tests. The voice of this more authentic Jesus who has been 'resurrected' along the way is fresher and more vivid. His focus is on the 'here and now' issues of life, on compassion and concern for the outcasts and helpless in society, not on sin, hell fire and damnation."

At least he put "historical" in quotes. This "historical" Jesus must have been misunderstood almost as soon as his words left his lips. The earliest material in the New Testament is focused on the person of Jesus and His atoning death, an atonement for sin to deliver people from condemnation, resulting in a resurrection that goes beyond the here and now (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).