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RE: [XTalk] Jesus of History does matter

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  • William Arnal
    ... Absolutely. Their circumstances will be more comparable to our own, and we ll know more about them to boot! The only things that *really* set Jesus apart
    Message 1 of 189 , Oct 6, 2004
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      Vince Endris wrote:

      >delves into it, I think one must see that most of what we know about the
      >historical Jesus is just not as valid for living in the 21st century as,
      >say, someone else who lived not as long ago and who might have gone though
      >more of the things we have gone through.

      Absolutely. Their circumstances will be more comparable to our own, and
      we'll know more about them to boot! The only things that *really* set Jesus
      apart from all kinds of notable figures of the 20th century (as well as
      other times) is: 1) his alleged ability to perform miracles; 2) his alleged
      claims to unique religious status. And presumably these latter two points
      are NOT to be imitated, nor are those at the present time who do lay claim
      to them generally well-regarded.

      >So then, what is the historical meaning? Is it just to understand the
      >evolution of Christianity for sociological reasons of how man's thought
      >develops overtime

      I presume women's thought develops over time too. Perhaps we could study the
      historical Mary to get a sense of this? (Sorry for the sarcasm.) Seriously,
      since there are so many better documented examples of such development, why
      chose to work from this example? Moreover, it's early Christianity and its
      document-able developments that provide evidence for shifts and developments
      in ideas, not Jesus himself. We could take him right out of the picture and
      know just about as much, sociologically, as we would with him IN the
      picture.

      >or what happens with Messianic movements so that we will
      >know how to address them in the future?

      Again, there are plenty of exemplars of this about which we know a great
      deal. Why use examples like HJ about which we know almost nothing, when
      there are so many better-understood examples around?

      >If anyone could help me out with this I would greatly appreciate it.

      Well, I doubt my comments here helped much, but I couldn't resist, since it
      is unclear to me, as well, why the *historical* Jesus matters
      *historically*. Of course, the "historical" Jesus as a cipher for "how I
      chose to reconfigure the uncomfortable dimensions of the traditional image
      of Jesus" matters HUGELY for contemporary cultural and social matters -- but
      as a symbol and a rhetorical lever, not as a real, past, genuinely
      historical entity. Or so it seems to me.

      cheers,
      Bill
      ______________________
      William Arnal
      University of Regina

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    • Patrick Narkinsky
      ... I would take a different tack: that Jesus was the first fruits of the general resurrection and that, by raising him from the dead, God has promised to do
      Message 189 of 189 , Jan 1, 2005
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        On Dec 31, 2004, at 10:44 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

        > The difference that most Christians would ascribe to
        > Jesus is that he is divine, being one person of the
        > triune Godhead, whereas everyone else who will be
        > resurrected (whether physically or spiritually) is
        > human, all too human.

        I would take a different tack: that Jesus was the "first fruits" of the
        general resurrection and that, by raising him from the dead, God has
        promised to do likewise for those who are "in" Christ. I take this to
        be Paul's take as well (see 1Cor 15.12-20).

        However, I doubt that that this is the average pew-sitter's view, at
        least in Evangelical circles. In my experience, their emphasis would
        be on Jesus' crucifixion resurrection as an act of atonement, and what
        was unique about Jesus was his innocence. That is, Jesus was a perfect
        sacrifice, without sin, who could therefore atone for the sins of all
        mankind. Those who take this point of view tend not to think of
        "heaven" in terms of resurrection, and even Jesus' resurrection would
        be emphasized much less than Jesus' crucifixion. Even the Left-Behind
        crowd talks about the general resurrection of the dead as being "raised
        up" or something, reserving the term "resurrection" for Jesus himself.

        Patrick

        --
        Patrick Narkinsky - patrick@...

        "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."
        - Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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