What We Hear

David Hayward's cartoon featured above gets at a lot of important points. We frequently “mishear” even those we claim to consider authorities. It happens with Jesus' teaching as depicted in the Gospels. But even if Jesus were physically in our midst, that is no guarantee that we would not hear him confirming our biases when he was actually trying to challenge them.

As the saying goes, “I know you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard isn't what I meant.”


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    “God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without Him.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Herro

    Is this cartoon supposed to be self-referencing? I don’t recall Jesus mentioning “equal rights for all” in the gospels.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

      Some view his treatment of foreigners, including Roman soldiers, the ritually unclean, and women, to indicate something along these lines. But since we only know his teaching through followers, the cartoon raises the question of whether the Jesus we encounter in the sources reflects the historical figure accurately.