[Jesus, irritated after spending 10 minutes on google looking for the existence of himself.]
It’s almost Easter, and so on cue here is a scolding and yet surprisingly dumb article about how everything you know about Jesus from the Bible isn’t true “because Bart Ehrman” (that’s my short summary in case you don’t feel like actually reading it). Did you know, for example, that that exhausting search in the 90s for the ‘historical Jesus’ didn’t turn anything up? That one where you couldn’t accept anything the Bible said as evidence and so were left dropping little colored beads into jars and ended up with like one certain fact about Jesus—that he was a Galilean peasant—but then went ahead and published a ‘bible’ anyway, where only two lines were vaguely pink and all the rest were dark black. This was a visual way of letting you know that Jesus didn’t talk in red colored ink and also you’re a dummy for believing stupid things like that God actually exists. Good times.
The article full of gems like this, “Best-selling New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman believes that the biblical stories about Jesus had their kernel in the person of a single itinerant preacher, as do most New Testament scholars.” Imagine string of laughing emojis here.I don’t like to bash google because it’s boring, but if you type “biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus” into the search box, you get Wikipedia, the history channel, a website called American Atheists (that’s helpful google, thanks), the Washington Post, and the Guardian. If you substitute ‘biblical’ for ‘christian’ the American Atheist page moves up to the top.
Goodness, I didn’t intend to be alarmist. I honestly thought a simple google search would give me even one article about how we can actually know plenty about Jesus and how the Bible is, get this, totally trustworthy. Maybe that can be a segment on our important podcasting moment today.
I mean, we all know that Jesus is a terrifying proposition—is now and always has been. Because if you take him seriously, and along with him the words of the Bible, your whole life and self will be irrevocably turned upside down. There’s no way round it. His life, death, and resurrection undermine all our human systems, categories, assumptions, and expectations. I mean, I think I should maybe be grateful to google and RawStoryUs for protecting me from such dangerous ideas.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go and boil 6 dozen eggs so that the children can dye them and then I’ll hide them in the backyard. Because that’s the meaning of Jesus—see, he’s like the yoke that once you break open the shell…oh never mind. If you’re actually looking for true meaning come to Tenebrae tonight. The eggs are just for fun. And so is google apparently.