history--meaning all that historians write, all historiography--is an
inextricable combination of fact and interpretation...In the Gospels we have, of
course, unambiguously such a combination. Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the
Eyewitnesses, Wm, B, Erdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 2006, p. 3
Perspective of the Non-Christian Jesus
In regard to the Bauckham quote above, we have in the
Gospels, especially the non-eyewitness compilations, more than facts and
interpretation, but also misremembered information, opinions, distortions, pieces
without context, and probably some common fabrications.
Books that are written about the J-person are written from a
position that includes a variable mix of some of the underlying
preconceptions of Christianity that dearly need to be challenged. Even
though some authors try to clear the slate they have not
found the way. In his book Jesus Before Christianity, Albert
Nolan has titled the first chapter, "A New Perspective".
cogently making a simple case that such is much needed, he is
endeavoring to give us just that. But he has also pointed out that one
cannot take a look back at something in the historical past unless he is
doing so from a certain perspective:
"Is there no way in which all of us (with or without
religious programming) can give Jesus the chance, once again today, to
speak for himself?
"It is clear that we would have to begin by putting aside
all our preconceived ideas about him. We cannot begin by assuming that
he is non-human or that he is the Messiah or the Savior of the world.
We cannot even begin with the assumption that he was a good and honest
man. Nor can we begin with the assumption that he was definitely not any
of these things. We must put aside all our images of Jesus, conservative
and progressive devotional and academic, so that we may listen to him
with an open mind.
"It is possible to approach the J-person without any
presuppositions about him, but it is not possible to approach him
without any presuppositions at all. The complete open mind is a blank
mind that can understand nothing at all. We must have some kind of
position, some kind of vantage point or perspective, if we are to see and
understand anything....We cannot obtain a view of the past except from
the place where we are standing at the moment. 'Historical objectivity
is not a reconstruction of the past in its unrepeatable factuality, it
is the truth of the past in the light of the present.' (E. Schillebeeckx,
God, the Future of Man, p 24) To imagine that
one can have historical objectivity without a perspective is an
"One perspective, however, can be better than another.
The perspective of each successive age is not equally valuable and
true....Not that we have any choice in this matter. The only perspective
open to us is the one given to us by the historical situation in which
we find ourselves. If we cannot achieve an unobstructed view of the J-person
from the vantage point of our present circumstances, then we cannot
achieve an unobstructed view of him at all."
Nolan then proceeds to make a serious attempt to achieve
this unobstructed view but offers only the possibility of a similarity
between our time and that of the J-person, along with an "open" mind, to give
us some added clarity for this to be accomplished. However he has just
previously and rightfully said, "The complete open mind is a blank mind
that can understand nothing at all."
By his own logic we are here at the
mercy of two dilemmas. First, we have no assurance that we are "lucky"
enough to have a particular historical perspective that will give us any
or enough advantage that we can intrinsically count on. In understanding
truth on this level, what person can
get excited about undertaking something extensive that may be doomed to
failure from the beginning, without even knowing he has no chance to
be successful? Second is the dilemma of the open mind that cannot be
entirely open. What is needed here, is some way to break out of the
uncertainty of the first dilemma and the circular whirlpool of the
Is it not obvious that we need to deal with the context
in which we find ourselves, and deal with the real issues that matter to
us? This seems to be almost universally avoided, but why? I think the answer to this is
obvious. You either choose to have faith, believe in goodness, or you
don't. If you don't choose to believe in absolute goodness, then what is
the point to finding answers and truth that only rub your nose in the
A Radical and Correct Perspective?
This site will be an attempt to take a fresh look at
the J-person from a RADICALLY different perspective, one that I find no
evidence for ever having been committed to and consistently used before,
yet one that is essentially open to anyone who chooses to use it,
regardless of their informational or historical advantage. This
perspective is based on the concept, which I choose to believe, that in
a human being there is a spark, an image of the creator
buried in us which we will call, for lack of a better word, Idealism,
the internal reference point.
The word used in the gospels for this, our inner core or absolute,
internal reference point, is translated as "heart".
potential to succeed
Anybody that maintains there is a Good Creator who
created human beings, regardless of what means or method he may have
used to do that (creationist, evolutionist, or somewhere in between)
must take the position that, since God created these human beings that
seek him, endeavor to understand him at least to some degree, and seek to
have a relationship with him, he must have created them with the
reasonable potential to succeed at this. Isn't this supposed to be what
Jesus is all about and what he asked for?
This implies surely and purely that the
true nature and character of God is not only acceptable to human beings
and human nature, but is something that has to be characterized as good
and wonderful to us by our human valuation system. In short, if we are going
to project goodness upon the Creator and use the term "God" then we
should adopt the ideal perspective and understand that we CAN SUCCEED in
understanding god. To not do this would be to accept that the whole point is to forever raise our
level of frustration or in the end give us the ultimate nasty surprise, in
which case our application of the term "good" is misplaced.
the definition of our idealism
This leaves us with the situation of trying to
understand God in the context of something that is within the definition
of our idealism, something that we can know the truth about because it
rings true to our internal reference point. This site is an attempt to
show that what the J-person tried to do with his ministry and his message was
to speak to this internal reference point and to get us to look from the
perspective of our idealism
FAR HIGHER THAN ANY MAN HAD EVER DONE BEFORE IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF
HUMANITY ON THE EARTH.
The framers of the US constitution did a marvelous and wonderful thing,
something quite extraordinary in terms of the historical development of
nations, when they stood up as a group and had the courage to say, "We
hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Did you catch it? "Self evident!"
They did NOT say we hold these truths because the Bible—or any other
selection of "sacred" writings—holds them to be so, or because it is traditional,
or because they heard a voice from the sky, or because they had a sleep
dream or supra-normal vision in common. This ultimate foundation is
the internal HUMAN reference, and IT MUST BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANY
EXTERNAL SOURCE, AND THE EXTERNAL SOURCE MAY ONLY SUPPLEMENT AND
RESONATE, NOT OVERRIDE!
Author Albert Nolan does a marvelous job of dispensing many doctrines
that are really in the realm of superstition and fail the most basic
criteria of reason and support from what the J-person personally did and said.
He has also come up with a number of fresh partial perspectives,
although he is still locked into many Christian misconceptions.
The one aspect of humanity that Jesus railed against is
which fundamentally means operating without using your own judgment
and critical thinking ability, the opposite of being genuine or authentic.
Hypocrisy Analysis and
Let us understand right from the start that the J-person is saying something
incredibly different; something that Gnosticism and Christianity have
not dealt with adequately, if at all; something fantastically good that has for
the most part, been completely missed, overlooked and buried.
See studies on Teachings of