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Historical Jesus
Friday, 18 May 2007 13:36
by Burton H. Wolfe
The question which has so much exercised the minds of men – whether Jesus was the historic Christ ( = Messiah) – is answered in the sense that everything the historical Christ is, everything that is said of Him, everything that is known of Him, belongs to the world of the imagination, that is, of the imagination of the Christian community, and therefore has nothing to do with any man who belongs to the real world.
The term 'historical Jesus' that continually pops up in periodicals and books originated with Albert Schweitzer, who used it for the purpose of refuting the historicity of 'Jesus Christ' and to identify that biblical character instead as entirely fictitious.

How many times have you picked up a newspaper or magazine containing an article about "Jesus" that contained the term "historical Jesus"? Dozens? Hundreds? And how many times, to your knowledge, has the author of such an article identified the origin of that term? I would bet that the answer to that last question is "zero."

The term "historical Jesus" stems from a book by Albert Schweitzer, as do the phrases "the quest for the historical Jesus" and "in search for the historical Jesus" that have appeared on the covers of Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and other periodicals. In 1910 A&C Black, Ltd. of London published an English language translation of a book by Schweitzer written in German. The title was mistranslated as The Quest of the Historical Jesus. The proper translation should have been either "The Quest for the Historical Jesus" or "In Search of the Historical Jesus." I have to believe the mistranslation was the fault of the publisher, not the translator, the early 20th Century philologist William Montgomery, since he was so skilled and accurate in his work.

I have never seen anyone explain to the public that in his book Schweitzer examined all of the so-called "biographies of Jesus" because they fascinated him and he admired some of the authors, especially Ernest Renan (Life of Jesus), and his ultimate purpose was to demonstrate that all of the "biographies" were not biographies, but rather novels expanding upon the original fiction: the New Testament scriptures. The title of the book was a gimmick of the same kind employed by Professor G. A. Wells in his book The Historical Evidence for Jesus (Prometheus Books, 1988). The idea of both men was to set out the alleged evidence for a "historical Jesus" and then demonstrate that there is no such evidence: only fiction offered as "evidence."

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The quotation you see above in the yellow panel is from page 156 of William Montgomery's translation of Schweitzer's book. The quotation should not be taken, however, as the sum total of Schweitzer's views on the New Testament scriptures. In fact he was moved by the "spirit of Jesus" injected into the fiction of the ancient Hebrew scribes who invented the story of the character Yeshua mashia (Joshua the messiah), fraudulently translated into English by gentiles as "Jesus Christ." It was not the "Jesus as historically known," Schweitzer wrote, but rather "Jesus as spiritually arisen within men, who is significant for our time and can help it." But that feeling was as far as Schweitzer could take any admiration he felt for the scriptures.

Here are some examples from Schweitzer's book on the subject of "Jesus" that the mind prostitutes using the term "historical Jesus" do not reveal to the public (page numbers from Montgomery's translation – but note that because of a serious flaw in Constant Contact's templates I am unable to use the three-dot method of indicating omissions of certain words because three dots are blocked as "invalid" configurations): "[The] historic Personality which emerges from the mist of myth is a Jewish claimant of the Messiahship" page 95). The "biographies" of Jesus's childhood are "literary inventions" (page 141). "[The] mission of the twelve [disciples, i.e. the "Apostles"] as an historical occurrence [is] simply inconceivable"; rather, it is "invented history" (page 146). "The Lord's Supper" [the so-called 'Last Supper'] is nothing more than an invention of Christians who "turned the Jews' Passover holiday into a feast which had references to Jesus" (pages 152-153). The so-called "lives of Jesus" are "imaginative lives" (page 161).


Following his analysis of the inventions of the New Testament scriptures as expanded into fictitious "biographies," Schweitzer issued this admonishment to all "Christian" clerics and theologians: "It is time that it [modern theology] should begin to doubt itself, to doubt its 'historical' Jesus***Its Jesus is not alive (page 310). "Jesus of Nazareth never existed; and even supposing He had been one of the numerous Jewish Messiahs who were put to death by crucifixion, He certainly did not found Christianity. The story of Jesus which lies before us in the Gospels is in reality only the story of the way in which the picture of Christ arose, that is to say, the story of the growth of the Christian community" (page 313).

A century after those words were written, Schweitzer's challenge remains unmet by theologians, academicians, periodical publishers, book publishers, religion editors, journalists, and writers and book authors. Instead there are only bastardizations of Schweitzer's book, and more and more mind prostitutes pouring out ever wilder, ever more irresponsible, articles and books that expand upon the fictions that constitute the New Testament scriptures in their entirety. All of that remains today the disgrace of the periodical and book publishers, and the towel boys and towel girls in their houses of mind prostitution who continue to foment belief of gullible and ignorant humanity in the validity of the hogwash and lunacy in the thousands of different versions of the New Testament. That is one of the key factors in the schizoid nature of humanity today: highly advanced in technology, but locked into a Cultural Dark Age. Howling Wolfe

Lisa Miller of Newsweek uncorks another piece of shameless propaganda for the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church

I was moved to explain the bastardization of Albert Schweitzer's use of the term "historical Jesus" by the latest outpour of unscrupulous, ethics-violating claptrap by one of the most promiscuous mind prostitutes of the mass media: Newsweek "religion" writer Lisa Miller. I use the term "mind prostitute" advisedly, because there is a slight chance that the truth about her is that she is simply an ignoramus. But I do not think so. I think she is nothing more than a shill for Christian religion, and especially the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, she ought to be on the payroll of the Vatican instead of Newsweek.

Miller's latest breach of the cardinal rules of journalistic ethics appears in the May 21, 2007 edition of Newsweek under the title "A Portrait of Faith: With 'Jesus of Nazareth,' Pope Benedict XVI fights back against 'the dictatorship of relativism' by showing the world his vision of the definitive truth of Christ." That sets the stage for Miller's shameless propagandizing for the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, since it is not "relativism" that the Pope is fighting, but rather fact, truth, evidence, and reality.

Miller begins her article with a question: "Who was Jesus, really?" The answer to that question, per Schweitzer, is that "Jesus" is a fictitious character invented by ancient Hebrew scribes who rewrote the many stories of prior "messiahs" preceding theirs by hundreds if not thousands of years; and the name of that character, properly transliterated and translated into English from the original Aramaic and Hebrew, is not the preposterous Anglicization "Jesus Christ," but rather Yeshua mashia as transliterated and Joshua the messiah as translated. But Lisa Miller is not about to answer her own question in that truthful manner. She is not being paid to do that. She is being paid to falsify, distort, and hide the truth from Newsweek's readers.

In the latest of her treacherous writing, as usual Miller employs Schweitzer's term to indicate that there truly was a "historical Jesus." She refers to authors and writers disputing the reality of the New Testament as engaging in "the promiscuity of recent Jesus scholarship," and that terminology is magnificently ironic, since true mind prostitute promiscuity is found overwhelmingly in the work of Lisa Miller. Compared to her, women selling their bodies on the street are angels and saints.

Miller refers to the Pope's latest claptrap writing as a "biography": the book Jesus of Nazareth, published by an organizational shill for the Roman Catholic Church, the Broadway Doubleday Publishing Group division of Random House, a subsidiary of the German conglomerate Bertelmann AG. Aiding the Pope to flimflam the public, Miller attempts to authenticate the existence of "John the Baptist," whereas the truth is that there is not a scrap of evidence to support that fictitious character as a real man and, in the First Century where he is alleged to have lived, there was no such person as a Baptist.

Instead of explaining that to readers, Miller describes this "Baptist" as someone "who likely spent time with the Essenes, a group of Jews who lived in the desert awaiting the imminent arrival of the Messiah." Do we have to wait in vain for Newsweek to publish a correction from bonafide scholars who must be writing letters to excoriate that total misidentification of the Essenes? Or will Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham be ethical enough to do the job himself, since it may be that by now genuine scholars on the subjects butchered by Miller are fed up with sending in letters to correct her treachery and deceit and atrocious inaccuracies, only to have their letters consigned to the wastebasket? Well, I could go on with dozens of other examples of Miller's mind prostitution. But maybe there is one upside to the downsides of hers and Meacham's violations of journalistic ethics: Since Miller is not even a tenth-rate writer, and her stuff is so horrifically boring, perhaps not many Newsweek subscribers and newsstand buyers or library readers are going beyond the first few paragraphs of her hogwash. It takes a masochist like me to read through it, and though I have my reasons for doing so, I often ask myself why I bother.

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Comments (1)add comment

a guest said:

Well Schweitzer certainly raised some interesting issues in his 'Quest for the Historical Jesus'. However since that first 'quest' there have been at least two further 'quest' movements. Alistair E McGrath's book, 'Christian Theology, an Introduction' has a quite a balanced summary of the issues.
May 21, 2007
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