Andrew has a fine post up on the Jesus g…
Andrew has a fine post up on the Jesus godhead.
I’m interested in your posts on divinity. I very much enjoyed the article in the New Yorker that you linked to last week. I think it gets to the nub of the issue — that the Orthodox conception of Jesus holds up as long as you don’t think too much or learn too much about it.
I was fairly Orthodox (albeit liberal) christian for most of my nearly five decades, but after reading a host of scholarly literature, including Bart Ehrman and James Tabor, it’s hard to maintain that faith. The fact is that once you delve into the details, you will discover that the widely taught idea that “we believe what has been handed down from the first Christians” is plainly false. One has to seriously twist the meaning of the gospel writers in order to assert that they were teaching Jesus’ divinity. Clearly phrases such as “Son of God,” which we are taught refers to divinity, did not have the same meaning to the authors. Clearly, doctrines such as Jesus’ divinity and the resurrection immediately upon death were developed over long periods of time.
How does that change one’s beliefs? Well, in order to study history and maintain one’s beliefs, you either have to: 1) deny the facts; 2) develop some system of progressive revelation that encompasses God’s guiding hand over history; or 3) revert into some type of mysticism. None of those options are appealing to me.
I think that the divinity of Issa was a memetic selective advantage for xianity, like electing to become chosen. The original chosen people, the Jews, didnt proselytize and one had to be born jewish pretty much. So electing to become a christian automatically made one “chosen”.
Then christianity one-upped Judaism and said their messiah had already come, AND he was a god, and xianity was the ONE TRUE FAITH.