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Ethics and Mythos

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  • joe baxter
    Jesus as an ethical teacher deserves no more ... What is the basis for this bold assertion? The fact that in virtually every Christian ... I don t think your
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 31, 1999
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      Jesus as an ethical teacher deserves no more
      >than a minor historical footnote.

      What is the basis for this bold assertion?

      The fact that in virtually every Christian
      >community that followed pointed to the kerygma as the basis of belief
      >suggests that it is the death of Jesus that will act as the motivating and
      >galvanising event that drives the Christian movement.

      I don't think your assertion is correct for the early Christian movement.
      The early disciples were demoralized by his death. Something stunned them to
      life.

      It is true that at some point the Christian movement took a turn in the road
      in the direction you suggest.


      Eras have their mythos. In olden days the story of Adam had a greater hold
      on the imagination of men and women than it does today. The post-ancient
      era adopted the mythos of Christ, but not the mythos that *drove* Christ in
      the earlier era. The mythos of death has had it time.

      With kind regards,

      joe
    • Tim Au Yeung
      Joe, ... I ll admit - this is more a flair for the dramatic than substance. However, that having been said, consider one of Borg s more recent works Jesus and
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 1, 1999
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        Joe,

        >
        > Jesus as an ethical teacher deserves no more
        > >than a minor historical footnote.
        >
        > What is the basis for this bold assertion?

        I'll admit - this is more a flair for the dramatic than substance. However,
        that having been said, consider one of Borg's more recent works "Jesus and
        Buddha". The implications are clear -- the ethical teachings of Jesus
        reflect many of the same concepts before and after him. This is why Crossan
        can see Jesus in the shadow of the Cynics.

        Perhaps, Jesus enunciated those truths better than any other of his time. If
        so, our records do not adequately do justice to his teachings. However, the
        movement that now encompasses perhaps a quarter of the world's population
        point primarily to his death. One suspects that had he died quietly as
        strictly an ethical teacher, his fame would parallel that of Diogenes.

        > The fact that in virtually every Christian
        > >community that followed pointed to the kerygma as the basis of belief
        > >suggests that it is the death of Jesus that will act as the
        > motivating and
        > >galvanising event that drives the Christian movement.
        >
        > I don't think your assertion is correct for the early Christian movement.
        > The early disciples were demoralized by his death. Something
        > stunned them to
        > life.
        >
        > It is true that at some point the Christian movement took a turn
        > in the road
        > in the direction you suggest.

        It is a turn that is taken early on then. If the Pauline epistles are
        readily accepted by the body politik of early Christianity as seems to be
        suggested by the early Church fathers, it demonstrates a casual disregard
        for the teachings and a heavy emphasis on the passion from a very early
        strain. One would suspect that more groups with an emphasis primarily on the
        teachings would have survived and one definitely suspects that Q ought to
        have been preserved with more care than obviously was taken if the early
        Christian church had an emphasis on anything other than the kerygma. As
        such, all we have is Gnostic Christianity (if there ever actually was such a
        beast) that prospers in an enivironment (Alexandria) that largely
        facilitates that kind of group anyways.

        As for the demoralisation of the disciples, be that as it may, the early
        Church acquires a vibrancy and apparently a resilience to persecution early
        enough on that the demoralisation could not have been that pandemic.
        Certainly we can't dismiss it, since the criterion of embarrasment demands
        we take prima facie the words of the gospels, but it clearly does not take
        strong hold else the movement ought to have disappeared with the death of
        its leader.


        >
        > Eras have their mythos. In olden days the story of Adam had a greater hold
        > on the imagination of men and women than it does today. The post-ancient
        > era adopted the mythos of Christ, but not the mythos that *drove*
        > Christ in
        > the earlier era. The mythos of death has had it time.
        >
        > With kind regards,
        >
        > joe

        Bultmann's already done that. The question is -- could there actually be
        more we could know within the context of the narratives that point to the
        actual historical Jesus?

        Tim
      • Paul Miller
        The question is -- could there actually be more we could know within the context of the narratives that point to the actual historical Jesus?
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 1, 1999
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          The question is -- could there actually be
          more we could know within the context of the narratives that point to the
          actual historical Jesus?
          Tim-------------------------------------------------------

          I believe the view of Jesus as eschatological KOG prophet fits the bill as
          far as getting us closer to the HJ. The ethical teachings , to the extint
          that they go back to HJ, are to prepare folks for the coming KOG and for
          living in it.
          The modern view of some that Jesus was a wise teacher and social reformer
          is almost puerile in the attempt to retroject modern ethos back on Jesus and
          his early followers. This includes the attempt to place non eschatological
          segments of texts within the earliest strata of hypothetical documents.
          Sorry, I know the above read like a harangue, but I feel better now. :)

          Paul Miller
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