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"Today the greatest single deterrent to knowledge of Jesus is his familiarity.
Christianity's Fundamental Mistake
Way too much has been made of Hebrew Scriptures and prophecy as the context for the J-person revelation message. There are reasons as to why the J-person came when and where to do his public ministry−in Israel and primarily Judea−but they have less to do with this culture's expectations and prophecies than has been assumed. Every other culture had their mythology and their prophecies. If the J-person had come to the Greeks, Gauls, Latins, Mayas, etc., there would have been similar prophetic connections made to authenticate him as belonging in a special way to their culture, and to their being in a special privileged relationship to God.
As other scholars have noted, Jesus' life was patterned after the Egyptian warrior-hero god Horus as much or more than it was patterned upon the expected Hebrew Messiah. Most Christians would be astounded and nonplussed by the extent of the parallels. Of course, some that have a discrediting agenda use this pattern to try to show that the life of the J-person was fabricated.
Jesus has been mis-framed
Far more important than the context of mythology and its prophecy is the context of the "human condition". Why should Jesus, his actions and his message NOT be framed BY THE ULTIMATE ISSUES that we face being in the "human condition" under a sentence of death, instead of by Old Testament law and prophets? I certainly care much more about the first instead of the second!
Intellectually, Christianity has made a huge mistake by tying Jesus to Judaism as if being born and raised in that culture and religion puts the stamp of God's approval on it in ANY way! Why should we let ancient writings and mythology tell us what God is like when Jesus came to do that in person with not just words but a three year public life capped with the ultimate demonstration? Why isn't it clear that so much of what Jesus did and said clashed with Judaic religious culture? Jesus obviously was not really what was expected by that culture in their Messiah or Christ.
Christianity founded by unbelievers
Spiritually, Christianity has been founded by unbelievers. There is no evidence except for John and Thomas, that any of the disciples or "apostles" including Paul, actually believed much of what the J-person said to us. Instead, we should be able to see that they profoundly missed understanding his message.
Bottom line? ALL of Christendom has incorporated the Old Testament paradigm of God as its foundation, and that is why it is called JUDEO-Christianity! SHOULDN'T the paradigm be founded on the actions, words and message of the J-person? Instead of being shoehorned into the Old Testament paradigm, shouldn't Jesus, his words, his deeds, be framed by the ultimate issues?!