Friday, June 5, 2009
the great hoax revisited
If you want to contend that the Gospels are packs of lies and that Jesus never said all those things or performed all those wonders, you should at least admit that Christianity is the most brilliant hoax of all time. Everything fits so well. How could a few unlearned and provincial Jews invent such a supremely memorable character, endow him with the ability to speak immortal words on all occasions, then make virtually all the details of his story cohere so well, tallying even with Old Testament prophecy?
A cliche of literary criticism tell us that evil characters are more interesting than good ones. If so, why is this best of all characters — indeed, he is sinless — so fascinating? And how could four unpracticed amateur writers create the most vividly virtuous personality in all literature? And why does he sound like the same utterly unique man in all of their accounts of him?
In Jesus, goodness is not at all bland; it normally inspires, but it can also be disturbing, challenging, even frightening. He is incomparable; he never reminds us of anyone else.
Posted by theo at 11:16 AM