When we meet Jesus of Nazareth at the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, almost surely the oldest of the four, he’s a full-grown man. He comes down from Galilee, meets John, an ascetic desert hermit who lives on locusts and wild honey, and is baptized by him in the River Jordan. If one thing seems nearly certain to the people who read and study the Gospels for a living, it’s that this really happened: John the Baptizer—as some like to call him, to give a better sense of the original Greek’s flat-footed active form—baptized Jesus. They believe it because it seems so unlikely, so at odds with the idea that Jesus always played the star in his own show: why would anyone have said it if it weren’t true? This curious criterion governs historical criticism of Gospel texts: the more improbable or “difficult” an episode or remark is, the likelier it is to be a true record, on the assumption that you would edit out all the weird stuff if you could, and keep it in only because the tradition is so strong that it can’t plausibly be excluded. If Jesus says something nice, then someone is probably saying it for him; if he says something nasty, then probably he really did...
Tag Archives | Jesus
Jesus, why so long to appear on Google Maps?
Was the burned bacon fat in the frying pan coming from a false messenger?
More on perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena on Wikipedia.
The JoeBot writes on Confessions of a CyberCasualty:
Pt 1: The Death Day of Jesus Christ
Millions believe that all of human history hinges on a killing that occurred outside the walls of Jerusalem, nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus of Nazareth entered the city on a donkey one day and left carrying a cross. This was an apparent victory for the Pharisees, an incomprehensible tragedy for his disciples, and a brutal spectacle for the multitudes. It was also a great disappointment to Jews clinging to conventional expectations of the Messiah. Their prophets had foretold a Son of David who would liberate the nation of Israel, restoring her to earthly supremacy. Yet there was Jesus — the supposed “King of the Jews” — hanging powerless on a blood-drenched tree.
According to the Evangelists, the wandering rabbi saw it coming. Three chapters of John’s Gospel are devoted to Jesus’ reflection upon his impending demise.… Read the rest
The video you've been waiting for ... if what you've been waiting for is a low-budget version of Star Trek in which the Enterprise crew are evangelicals. From Everything Is Terrible:
Hard to believe, but mad Mormon Glenn Beck has publicly told Christians to give up their churches if they hear anything there about social justice, as reported in the New York Times:
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Last week, the conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck called on Christians to leave their churches if they heard any preaching about social or economic justice because, he claimed, those were slogans affiliated with Nazism and Communism.
This week, the Rev. Jim Wallis, a liberal evangelical leader in Washington, D.C., called on Christians to leave Glenn Beck.
“What he has said attacks the very heart of our Christian faith, and Christians should no longer watch his show,” Mr. Wallis, who heads the antipoverty group Sojourners, wrote on his “God’s Politics” blog. “His show should now be in the same category as Howard Stern.”
Mr. Beck, in vilifying churches that promote “social justice,” managed to insult just about every mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, African-American, Hispanic and Asian congregation in the country — not to mention plenty of evangelical ones.
Flamboyant British pop icon Elton John is making headlines for a controversial interview in, of all places, Parade, the (usually) boring Sunday newspaper magazine. Some choice samples:
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“I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East — you’re as good as dead.”
“Just about every relationship I ever had was involved with drugs. It never works. But I always had to be with someone, good or bad, otherwise I didn’t feel fulfilled. I’d lost the plot.”
“For some people a gram of cocaine can last a month. Not me. I have to do the lot, and then I want more. At the end of the day, all it led to was heartache.”
“Princess Diana, Gianni Versace, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, all dead.