There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
The Bible we have is a book in one volume, and so we read it as if it's a book in one volume. But it's really a whole bunch of books, and gospels, and pieces of poems, like a Lutheran hot dish, which is why we have Protestantism.
The truth, in many cases, doesn't matter. What matters is what is believed.
What kept nagging at me -- after the rush of religion and feeling like I had found a church and a faith I could work into my own belief system -- was the ultimate question of the Divinity of Jesus.
We can't say that all lives matter until we start treating all lives as if they all mattered. As if each was the most precious resource we have. As if losing one of us is losing all of us. “Oh,” a professor says in the play W;t, “it’s an allegory of the soul!” And it is.
[Spotlight on an empty stage. A gay man in his late 40s walks up to the microphone.]
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to reckoning with Jesus of Nazareth. For atheists, he was just another Jewish apocalyptic preacher. (I think there was a time when "Did Jesus exist?" made the rounds as a question and almost all historians of the Ancient Near East (ANE) agree that a man named Jesus actually existed; the miracle stories they leave to theology.) For believers, that flow chart branches a lot. Was he wholly divine? Was he wholly human? Was he both? Was Jesus also God, or was Jesus next to God? Your New Testament will be no help on this by the way.
Maybe! But also maybe not! Let's dig into the differences. (They definitely are two distinct things.)
If you're visiting the South of France, you'll of course want to stop by Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. They have the skull of Mary Magdalene.
Last night I mentioned to Zach that I'm sort of "meh" about the crucifixion. That came out terribly wrong.