Who Speaks for Jesus? (Mark 3.7–19)

Who speaks for Jesus? Today, a cacophony of voices claims to speak for the “real Jesus.” The chapter titles of The Jesus Quest by Ben Witherington capture the essence of those contrary voices: Jesus the Talking Head Jesus the Itinerant Cynic Philosopher Jesus, Man of the Spirit Jesus the Eschatological Prophet Jesus the Prophet of Social Change Jesus the Sage: The Wisdom of God Jesus: Marginal Jew or Jewish Messiah? Which of these contradictory voices speaks for the real Jesus? Mark 3.7–19 offers two vignettes in answer to that question. Let’s take a close look at both. In Mark 3.7–12, … Continue reading Who Speaks for Jesus? (Mark 3.7–19)

The Real Jesus (1 John 2:20-23)

Who is the real Jesus? Last year [this was written in 2007], just in time for Easter, the National Geographic Society published its translation of The Gospel of Judas, a second century Gnostic writing that makes a hero out of Judas Iscariot. According to this so-called gospel, Judas betrayed Jesus at Jesus’ behest, in order to liberate the divine spark of Jesus’ soul from its imprisonment in Jesus’ body. No reputable scholar that I know of thinks The Gospel of Judas is historically accurate.[1] But some scholars—not to mention many ordinary readers—think that historically accurate information about Jesus is hard … Continue reading The Real Jesus (1 John 2:20-23)