The Jesus Myth

The Jesus Myth

The Jesus Myth

The Jesus Myth

Excerpt

This is a book about the Founder of our firm, one Jesus of Nazareth. It is not a scientific biography, since we do not have the materials for such a biography. It is not an original theological work, since I am not a theologian. Even though it is based on the most recent research on the New Testament, it is not an exercise in New Testament studies, since I am not a Scripture scholar, either. All the book can claim to be is a series of reflections from the religious symbolism of Jesus.

To say that Jesus is a religious myth or symbol, albeit the most important religious symbol in the Western world, is not to deny him reality. There is nothing more real than men's symbols and myths. To say that Jesus is a symbol does not say that his life and message are legend. Quite the contrary, it is the very core of the myth of Jesus that his life and message were real historical phenomena; phenomena which, even though we perceive them through the theological understanding of the primitive church, still have powerful historical value in the strict sense of the word.

There was a time, not so long ago, when many scholars were persuaded that the story contained in the gospels was mostly a fabric of legends derived from the Hellenistic world to which Christianity had moved after the fall of Jerusalem. In particular, it was argued that much of the symbolism . . .

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