The Wiki Jesus


"Jesus" is 10 years old today... or at least the Wikipedia entry on "Jesus" is according to this piece by Chris Wilson that I picked up a couple of months ago via Biblical World. A lot of debate (not least in the internet... see for example the comments at the bottom of Chris Wilson's article) goes into the historicity of Jesus, with sceptics writing most evidence for the existence of Jesus (known as the Christ) as irredeemably biased, with amateur Christian apologists asserting in a vague, unattested way, that there is more documentary evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for the existence of near contemporary Julius Caesar. The latter piece of nonsense probably comes from the more accurate assertion that there is more near contemporaneous documentary attestation to the books of the New Testament than there is to Caesar's Gallic Wars, but that is understandable given that the New Testament was treated as sacred by the church, and many ancient copies where preserved, while Caesar's Gallic Wars was treated as a piece of shameless vanity publishing and most copies ended up as kindling, or toilet paper, or were scraped clean to write a new copy of the New Testament on...

Meanwhile, even among those who hold the New Testament in some sort of informed respect, there is much wrangling over getting back to the so called "historical Jesus." Even a century after Albert Schweitzer's warnings, many "Jesus" theologians still peer down the deep well of 21 centuries to fashion a Jesus who is only a pale reflection of themselves...

Yet in many ways, we are called on to create a Wiki Jesus for the world... to collaborate with each other to offer the wider world, who may never read the Gospels or the worthy writings of the "Jesus Seminar", a picture of Jesus... not a Jesus confined to a particular time and place, and even less to a theological or political perspective, but a Jesus who is relevant to everyone, everywhere, at all times...

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