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Shaman? Savior? Myth? Inkblot? — Why Christianity’s Main Man Remains So Elusive

December 27, 2014

With special focus on Jesus’ birth just past, here is a great article well worth reading. I’m using author Tarico’s conclusion here as an introduction, as I feel she nails it! Similarly to her, I “came to Jesus” very early in life. While my understanding of him has dramatically changed, the stories of him and his teaching continue to be important and the object of much ongoing inquiry for me. The article helps show how we may never know much about the “real” Jesus, definitively. But he never-the-less can be a powerful positive influence if we keep growing “with” him. Valerie’s concluding comment:
“My friend understands the Jesus she seeks to be a matter of hope, not history. The power of her Jesus comes not from whatever tentative facts scholars can glimpse in the fog of history, but from yearnings of the human spirit that are as relevant today as they were in the Ancient Near East. Perhaps humanity’s centuries of desperately seeking Jesus are best thought of as a quest to find and define ourselves. Perhaps that is enough.”

ValerieTarico.com

Historical Jesus Was there a man behind the myths? — Three approaches to the question.

To my mind, the only thing in the world duller than a graduation ceremony is a traditional wedding. Not long after finishing my graduate studies in psychology (and skipping the ceremony), I found myself in the pew of a Presbyterian church, staring at the back of a trailing white dress and fuming at my predicament. As the officiant droned on, I desperately searched for some distraction, but saw only the hymnal and a Bible. I chose the latter—why not—and began reading the gospel of Matthew—again, why not–and I was struck by something I’d never noticed before. The stories of Jesus at the beginning and end of Matthew seemed very, very different.

At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus might be compared to a guru or a shaman, a wandering holy man who imparts bits of timeless wisdom…

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