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Jesus, Son of Man Hardcover – 1977
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He wrote in the Foreword to this 1972 book, "There is hardly any conclusion put forth in this book which has not been quite well known for perhaps a hundred and twenty, perhaps even two hundred years. No new theory about Jesus is added to those that already exist. I am now probing how the Christian church dares appeal to a Jesus who never existed, to a mandate he never issued, and to a claim that he was God's son, which he never presumed for himself." (Pg. 9) He adds, "Jesus spoke scarcely any of the words put into his mouth and did hardly any of the deeds ascribed to him. The risen Christ is the invention of the community... It is hard to see how the churches can survive if they admit what they must not admit, that they are based on ancient fictions, on the confused dreams of earlier times. But neither can we see how we are to defend ourselves against the demands, especially of the Roman church, without damaging what we should wish to leave to them, and to all others, unhurt: the unconsciously invented Jesus of the primitive Christian community." (Pg. 12-13)
He notes, "Paul, surprisingly, does not mention [Judas], though a betrayal is always theologically productive; but perhaps as a renegade himself he was concerned to conceal this wretched sort of political turn-coat? Surely that would be to underrate Paul." (Pg. 152)
He observes, "If one took a poll among Christians about which of the ethical commandments represented the quintessence of the Gospels, the commandment to love one's enemies would come out easily top. Yet in the earliest and oldest of the Gospels, that named after one 'Mark'... this commandment surprisingly does not appear.Read more ›