Was the miracle-working prophet and spiritual master, who inspired the world's most widespread religion, with its hundreds of schools, sects, and denominations, the man tradition and the modern media have led us to believe?
More important, how likely is it that in the two millennia after his death, the Prince of Peace, in whose name so many wars and inquisitions have been waged, would have approved the activities of his followers?
Was Shock & Awe really his preferred M.O.?
And would this humble man have wanted his followers to encourage others to think that Christ was his last name?
Maybe it might not hurt to know more about the man whose birth millions are celebrating, especially when the evidence is presented by a man of the Christian cloth.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
Jesus: The Man, the Myth
What is the truth about Jesus? What is the truth about the Christ? Are they the same truth? Are they the same person? Most people (religious and nonreligious) think of one person to whom they commonly refer as Jesus Christ as though Christ were this person’s surname. Christ is not Jesus’ last name but instead is an honorific title. It comes from the Greek word christos. The Greek christos is a translation of the Hebrew word messiah,meaning anointed one. This was the title of leadership given to Israelite kings and priests because they were doused or anointed with oil as a sign of their office. As it pertains to Jesus, he was called Christ as an expression of faith that he had been anointed by God as king and priest. The followers of this Jesus eventually gathered themselves into congregations of the Christ and ultimately into the Christian Church.
The truth about Jesus is that he was a human being who lived and died as every person born ever has. Jesus was most likely born in Nazareth of the Galilee and certainly was raised there. He was a Jewish wisdom teacher and exorcist/healer who lived in the Galilee province of the Roman Empire between 4 BCE (before the Common Era) and 30 CE. His mother was known as Mary. His father was likely Joseph.
The truth about Jesus is that he never intended to start a church or a new religion. He did not understand himself to be the divine Son of God; rather, he saw himself as the “Son of [hu]Man[ity]” or an “average Joe.” Not only did he not start a church, he joined the reform movement of John the Baptizer (aka John the Baptist), who was a popular and charismatic Jewish prophet.
So who is Jesus Christ? The Jesus Christ of most traditional theology is a distortion of both the Jesus of history and the Christ of the Christian faith—an attempt to take the metaphor of Christ and invest it totally in the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a distortion because it makes a very Jewish Jesus into the first Christian and not the faithful Jew that he was. The truth about “Jesus Christ” is that when we look only at this hybrid concept we lose clear sight of both the human being and the mythological icon. What we hope to do in this dig is excavate separately the man (Jesus) and the myth (Christ) and unearth a new meaning for the statement “Jesus [is] Christ.” more....