A brief follow-up to my “Jesus never existed” post.
I believe Jesus of Nazareth existed. I believe he was a great and gifted teacher and healer. I also believe Jesus as Christ only happened when his followers placed that on him.
As for “no first-hand accounts,” I wrote my “Jesus never existed” essay to acknowledge this truth. The accounts we have of Jesus of Nazareth are, so far, not first-hand accounts. And, to that, I say, “so what?” Going back that far in history it’s not very common to have first-hand accounts of anything. And, as a wise theologian wrote to me, “Proof cannot be an operative word here, since we’re dealing with the past. The only question that counts is historical probability.”
Moving on to discussions of the resurrection I’ll happily explain that on every third or fourth day I’m perfectly content with that as reality. The other days I’m more comfortable with it as metaphor. What makes me a sort of wacky christian is that I don’t care. Both work for me. If I’m celebrating poetry or a miracle can change from moment to moment.
Let’s love our neighbors, care for the least of those among us, look beyond ourselves for strength (some of us will go to god for that strength, others go elsewhere), and work for social justice every day. If some of us call that christianity, why argue?