The Jesus That Was And The Jesus That Is
It's never been my habit to argue religion--in public or private. I hold a deep personal faith as a follower of Christ, for which I feel no need to defend. Nor do I wish to push anyone else into defense mode. My intention was to provoke my readers to introspection, not to challenge convictions, but to test assumptions--especially about a faith not personally held.
Like many of my readers, I knew this type of a series could easily degenerate from lofty ideals and restoration to falling into the same deep crevices of ignorance and hate that has divided us for centuries.
Thanks to the nature of the vast majority of the PJMedia readership, that fear never materialized. Instead, they deposited nuggets of wisdom within the comment sections.
Several readers suggested resources for further study such as Dr. Michael Kogan's Opening the Covenant, and The Life of Messiah, From a Jewish Perspective the DVD series by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. Many sources were cited, and I found much of the commentary compelling and thoughtful.
Prof.lw wrote in the comments on "Could We Restore America If Jews and Christians Accepted An Hyphenated Jesus?":
Prof.lw points to the real fork in the road for the two faiths.
Unfortunately, the good rabbi discredits himself with Christians by deconstructing the gospels, painting Paul as a lying opportunist and giving no credence to the accounts of the resurrection rendering a quite different Jesus.
The Boteach-Jesus that the author constructs is not the Christian-Jesus. Not because of Judaism, as the author presumes-- rather, as Prof.lw asserts, because of the vast and profound difference between "WAS" and "IS."
In this rapidly changing and hostile world, Christians and Jews alike must let go of real and perceived hurts from history. We have to accept our differences as our strengths.
One last quote in closing:
"The world today needs both a philosophy of peace and leaders of peace. I feel deeply that Christians and Jews can supply both in great measure-- and together form the visible vanguard for real tik-kun olam, healing of the world. Surprising as it may sound to Jews, one of the important keys to it all is Jesus."
Then the hyphen between us becomes a linking of arms.
Photo Credits Shutterstock Carlos E. Santa Maria