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Commentary :: DNC
The Search for an 'historical Jesus'
18 Mar 2004
Each Easter, I have established a tradition of writing critical commentaries on the holiday season, and this Easter is no different. My theme for this year is the ‘search for the historical Jesus'.
Searching for an ‘historical Jesus' Part 1 : What is history?
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283240.shtml
Each Easter, I have established a tradition of writing critical commentaries on the holiday season, and this Easter is no different. My theme for this year is the ‘search for the historical Jesus'. In part one, I will lay the ground work for the actual search by exploring the question ‘what is history?'



Searching for an ‘historical Jesus' Part 2 : Gospels as Historical Sources
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283238.shtml
In part one of this discussion I suggested that the ‘search for the historical Jesus' figure was actually a political battle, and thus riddled with bad scholarship and rhetorical stunts, for in politics all that matters is ‘winning' and thus political arguments such as those used by the Christian apologists and their opponents are less concerned with the requirements of scholarship and instead framed to convince and thus ‘win'. In this section I examine the complexities of the gospel writings, which demonstrates that the documents were produced by evangelists who were attempting to spin doctor the Christ story.

Searching for an ‘historical Jesus' Part 3 : The argument from embarrassment
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283237.shtml
In part one of this piece I described an ongoing feud between those who debunk the existence of an historical Christ figure (the man behind the mythology) and religious ideologues whose agenda is to prove that the myth is history. Such Christian apologists sometimes resort to the historical method called ‘the argument from embarrassment' (always employing the method against sources outside the church documents). If this method is applied impartially, using it to examine church documents as well, the result is a convincing portrait of an historical Christ figure.

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