A discussion of the possible historical Christ and the implications of Gospels (Especially Mark) of how the original Jesus was perceived.
The article starts out interesting, talking about the surprisingly many books reviewing the gospels that are published every year, and some of the difficulties in understanding them that contribute to the wide range of interpretations.
But then the author somehow forgets all that and begins to wax poetical about his own favored interpretation. It’s a liberal, literary approach, not the usual conservative literalist drivel, but it’s still just as phony.
He mentions Shakespeare and Tolkien, offering comparisons between how we understand them and how we might understand the gospels, but seems to forget: we don’t pretend for a moment that Hamlet or The Lord of the Rings is anything but stories. We may find something powerful in reading them, but they’re not true in any legitimate sense of the word.
So with the gospels. The two-thousand-year-old story of a preacher and political rebel might be inspiring, but why must we always pretend that everyone implicitly finds it more so than Shakespeare or Tolkien?
That’s where he loses me. He seems a sincere believer in the story he’s extracted out of Mark, but he simply fails to offer any reason to think that a more powerful lesson than one can learn from the Rings trilogy, or Shakespeare’s tragedies.
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