Hello, and this is also my first post outside of the welcome board.
This is only my own view, and I am so at peace with it:
The Jesus of history, for me, is very important. The gospels purport to
be a reconstruction of an orally transmitted history. This means that there
is a great amount of room for literary liscense on the part of first century believers.
This is not to say that his words and works as we have them in the bible are falsifications, but rather show what early followers had come to believe about him.
However, some of the parables and one-liners recorded in the gospels could have only one source, and that is Jesus himself. The admonition to love one's enemies is quite unique to wisdom teaching in the world. A paradox is implied: he who loves his enemies truly has none. To love one's neighbor
has many paralells, particularly in Jewish tradition. But to love one's enemies is to be like God
who gives even the ungodly and wicked the blessings of his universe.
That early christians believed in a ressurection is indisputable; they willingly died
horrible deaths at the hands of Domition and Nero for that belief. To say that there is
no external evidence for Jesus' existence is a falsehood. Granted, the works of Josephus
has probably been tampered with, but what do you do with Cornelius Tacitus who would indeed
have had access to first century documents relating to Jesus' execution as he related it?
Tacitus was certainly no friend of christianity. With all this available history, plus
the writings of Pliny (the younger), a historical Jesus is all but a certainty. That his
pupils would have remembered the core of his teachings is just as likely, seeing
the zeal they exhibited for him.
"Blessed are the poor . . . "
Are you poor? Then congratulations are in order: You are residents of the Kingdom!
The parables exhibit a Jesus who knew God experientially . . . a teacher who placed
equal value on societies marginalzed citizens. A jesus who called us his brothers
and sisters. A Jesus who we should strive to be like inasmuch as possible, with God's help.
And yes, a human representation of God's divinity and love.
Here's hoping that, along with the other most beautiful, thoughtful and
caring replies, perhaps I may have brought an additional aspect of
Jesus to help you along with your search.
My prayer is that you continue to find him precious to
In His Love,