Monday, December 22, 2014

Historical Jesus

Articles such as Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’ are "hot topics" in the present semi-post-Christian atmosphere of our country. For now these "Discussions over whether the figure known as the 'Historical Jesus' actually existed" are, as Raphael Lataster identifies them, primarily "disagreements among atheists." How long this will continue the Lord only knows.

Even though these may be primarily "disagreements among atheists," the Bible will be part of the "go-to" material for the discussion. In Lataster's article I found the following item curious. He writes, “The Pauline Epistles, however, overwhelmingly support the 'celestial Jesus' theory, particularly with the passage indicating that demons killed Jesus, and would not have done so if they knew who he was (see: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10).”

The referenced text is:
1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
I'm not sure whether Lataster's conclusion is a matter of misunderstanding the Bible, or deliberately misinterpreting it to fit a preconceived idea. While it is true that Satan is called the prince of this world (singular), no spiritual beings are in view in Paul's context in I Corinthians chapter 2. He speaks of the wisdom of men, the wisdom of this world and the wisdome of the princes of this world in contrast to the wisdom of God. Had the princes of the world recognized Jesus as the Son of God -- as did Peter, James & John, for example -- they would not have crucified Him.

"Humans – the murderers according to the Gospels – of course would still have killed Jesus, knowing full well that his death results in their salvation, and the defeat of the evil spirits," say Lataster. I've never heard such a novel interpretation as this in all my days. But I guess this was the best he could come up with in Paul's writings to “overwhelmingly support the 'celestial Jesus' theory.”

Don't believe it if you don't want to, but at least try to interact with what the text says.

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