2007-03-30

Link to Alison Cotes’ review of “The Existential Jesus”

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by Neil Godfrey

Have fixed the link to Alison Cote’s review of “The Existential Jesus”. Depending on your browser settings you may need to enlarge the image to read it. It’s a 1.4 mb pdf file.

This is the one review that captures best what John Carroll was attempting to do with his book.

Original Post

  • 2007-03-30 15:21:24 UTC - 15:21 | Permalink

    Looks like yet another instance of making a Jesus in our own image (or at least in the image of troubled, doubting agnostics). Scholars constantly refer to Mark as the most enigmatic Gospel, with a very ‘low’ Christology and lacking resolution at the end. But this is not necessarily the case. God personally tells Jesus that he is God’s beloved Son. When walking on the water towards the terrified disciples he tells them ‘do not be afraid; I AM’, the very words spoken by God Himself to Moses at Sinai. He is not uncertain about whom he himself is, he only instructs others not to reveal his true identity until the right time. He is transfigured with Moses and Elijah in gleaming glory. He heals the sick and casts out devils. He preaches that the Kingdom of God is near and speaks with great authority. True, he also shows a very human side in this Gospel, when he marvels at people’s lack of belief, when he is tired, when he hurls abuse at Peter for trying to prevent him from going to Jerusalem and when he is terrified to death in Gethesemane. But he remains nonetheless the divine Son of God. Finally, many people assume that Jesus’ quoting of “Eli, eli, lama sabacthani’ on the cross is a sign of his terrified despair and sense of abandonment by God. This is true, but many people forget that Psalm 22 is not just about abandonment by God. It ends by expressing hope in God and trusting one’s soul to God. Thus Jesus’ cry from the cross is both one of despair and of hope. The Jesus who cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” could very well have also said “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (as he does in Luke).

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