“What if Jesus was Real?” is the title of Joel Watts’ new article in the Huffington Post. Here’s the conclusion:
The real Jesus was a Jew, one nearly unrecoverable in the present — but this doesn’t mean he didn’t exist. It just means we have to live constantly with the doubt we may never really find him. As a Christian, this doesn’t bother me much because I have the guidance of Tradition. As a scholar, however, there are times I wish I could simply stop looking, but knowing I cannot, trudge along. Is the quest for the so-called Historical Jesus worth it? Indeed, we know the dangers of a Jesus molded to fit the time and place of the user. We saw it with the Aryan Jesus now with the American Political Jesus Football, thrown from Left to Right.
Jesus is a historical person, but we may not like what he looks like — if we ever find him.
In related news, Jim Linville posted about the “Academic Freedom and Biblical Scholarship” session that I am participating in at SBL this year. My paper has the title “Mythicism and the Mainstream: The Rhetoric and Realities of Academic Freedom.” Click through to read the full abstract on Jim’s blog, and to see who else is presenting.