Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of CultureJaroslav PelikanYale University Press / 1999 / Trade Paperback$9.99 Retail:4 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
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Philip TuttSacramento, CAAge: Over 65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5SuggestiveSeptember 7, 2012Philip TuttSacramento, CAAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4This book is what it purports to be: "not a life of Jesus, nor a history of Christianity, nor even a history of theological doctrines about Jesus [though all of these are touched upon, some in detail], but a series of images portraying his place in the history of culture" [p. vii; my brackets]. So, for an understanding of Jesus as a historical figure, what is the point? Prof. Pelikan's thesis is a subtle one: we necessarily see Jesus through the lens of our own time and place, now some 2000 years removed from the events of his life and death. However objective and immutable we would like our documentation (the New Testament and its adjuncts) to seem, we will always read these in light of contemporary imagery, everything from simple rabbi to cosmic presence. The upshot: we ought always to have before us an awareness of this essential and inescapable bias, and a full knowledge of its influence on our thinking, in any claims which we may make about a "true" understanding of Jesus' message. Well worth reading from this perspective.
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