A Jew for Jesus.

I always begin reading The Economist starting at the last page, the obituary page.  I am always entranced by the way the authors choose and depict the deceased. So, this morning, I discovered Geza Vermes:

His fans adored his polyglot erudition, charm and brains. His seemingly radical argument about Christ’s Jewishness became mainstream, at least in Christian theological thinking. The “Shorter Oxford Dictionary” adopted his definition of Jesus as “a Jewish preacher (c5BC-cAD30) regarded by his followers as the Son of God”, replacing the earlier “Founder of Christianity”. Others found him thin-skinned, narrow, repetitive, and selective in his approach. He could brilliantly link texts that suited his arguments, but seemed to brush aside evidence that contradicted them: John’s gospel, for example, or the writings of the Apostle Paul. Some wondered if he was spurred by grudge or guilt.He found such criticism most unfair. He had not reduced Jesus to a “pale Galilean charismatic”. Indeed, he described him as the “unsurpassed master of…laying bare the inmost core of spiritual truth”. But a dead man, not a resurrected deity.

About Barbara Dillon Hillas

Mother of global nomads; wife of diplomat; peripatetic lawyer; annotator of foreign service life, rule of law, culture, travel, & whatever strikes my fancy.
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