Shaman? Savior? Myth? Inkblot? — Why Christianity’s Main Man Remains So Elusive

I’m not endorsing Christ mythicism in reblogging this, nor am I implying that Christ mythicism is mainstream within scholarship; it’s not. I’m reblogging this for future reference, since it lays out the positions.


Historical Jesus Was there a man behind the myths? — Three Bible scholars debate the question.

To my mind, the only thing in the world duller than a graduation ceremony is a traditional wedding. Not long after finishing my graduate studies in psychology (and skipping the ceremony), I found myself in the pew of a Presbyterian church, staring at the back of a trailing white dress and fuming at my predicament. As the officiant droned on, I desperately searched for some distraction, but saw only the hymnal and a Bible. I chose the latter—why not—and began reading the gospel of Matthew—again, why not–and I was struck by something I’d never noticed before. The stories of Jesus at the beginning and end of Matthew seemed very, very different.

At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus might be compared to a guru or a shaman, a wandering holy man who imparts bits of timeless…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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3 Responses to Shaman? Savior? Myth? Inkblot? — Why Christianity’s Main Man Remains So Elusive

  1. Interesting James 🙂


  2. Thanks, James. Laying out the positions and offering a slight window into how scholars approach such questions was my intent.


  3. jamesbradfordpate says:

    Thanks for doing so, Valerie. I’ve often seen McGrath and Godfrey interact on each other’s blogs, but I did not really have the background information to follow their discussions. Your post was helpful in providing that.


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