Jesus Christ, Superstar


I’ve picked up another book about Jesus, the umpteenth one I’ve read in the past forty years. This one’s called Jesus, A Biography from a Believer. It’s written by the historian Paul Johnson.

Johnson knows he’s entering a crowded field. He notes that “Jesus of Nazareth was, in terms of influence, the most important human being in history. He is also the most written about and discussed.”

There are over 100,000 biographies of Jesus in English alone. Now multiply that by the number of books in other languages and the volumes written in earlier centuries that are no longer available. Add monographs, dissertations, pamphlets, articles and, most recently, blogs and wiki pieces, and you have a worldwide tsunami of words.

All this volume from such a small spring of source documents:

  • A few letters about him written within 20-30 years of his life and death.
  • Four biographies written in Greek and circulating within 50 years.
  • Forty-five authentic documents in circulation by AD 100.

Such prodigious writings are indicative of the impact of Jesus upon humanity. Johnson puts the number of Christ-followers of all stripes at 1.25 billion today. They are stratified into more than 38,000 denominations and sects, yet all centered around the same individual.

I believe one reason for his unprecedented popularity is the malleability of the man. By that I mean the ability of people to shape the historical Jesus like Play Dough into a Christ of their choosing.

But who is the real Jesus? How do we separate historical fact from subsequent interpretation? Can we peel this onion all the way to its core? No. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. It can help us avoid the subjective error of casting Jesus in our own image.

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2 thoughts on “Jesus Christ, Superstar

  1. God Himself told those who sought Him that He would always be close to them. He told Jacob, ” I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15). This closeness to God, not Jesus nor Mohamed nor any other then man made God. Psalm23 God is my Sheperd I have no wants; He lets me lie in green pastures He leads me to still waters, He restores my soul, He guides me in straight paths for the sake of His name,(God)Though I pass through the vallley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil For You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, They comfort me. There is something that every Jew was told directly by God himself in the Sanai, which was “Here o Israel the Lord our God the Lord is One. God is God but I guess if you need to give him another name to make you feel good I guess that’s up to the individual. I have learned through the years that God is God and he has no other name. I was a follower of Jesus until God himself revealed the truth which is God is God and nobody else, He’s God!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess I’m a little sick as a Jew of hearing how my Mother is in hell because she beleived in God and not Jesus. I know after being a worship leader for 9 years that God is God and Jesus and his followers are way off the mark. I wrote this only because I’m tired of hearing about Jesus and other so called Gods and Profits and so on and not enough about God himself who is everything, period. There are no other God’s but God, that was his message in the Sanai. I’ve never felt closer to God then I do at this time of my life. Yes we can peal this onion right to the core and it’s up to God and the individual if they want to allow it or not.
    Love, me

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