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Jesus of Nazareth

The existence of Jesus Christ is not a question for most people. It is generally accepted that as a man, he walked around Israel 2000 years ago. His identity however is debated as most religious organizations and the biblical scriptures proclaimed him as a prophet, a teacher or a godly figure. More and more people though have come to terms about Jesus and his moral teachings and negated claims that he is “God”. The historical analogy of Jesus’ life points out a phenomenon that bears two inseparable yet opposing sides.

Without imposing on Christianity, Crossan (1995) begins to dwell in the history of Jesus’ life and work to project a historical judgment and revelation. His interesting claim that “Jesus was not born of a virgin, not born of David’s lineage, not born in Bethlehem, that there was no stable, no shepherds, no star…, no massacre of the infants, and no flight into Egypt” (p. 28).

His arguments which are well documented seek to deconstruct the bible Iin an attempt to explain the words Jesus left., Mmodern scholars’ claims that Jesus “did not actually say many of the things written in the bible” (p. 26) are also Crossan’s point in his work. Crossan’s His extensive study on the life of Jesus portrayed that he Jesus was in fact a cynic and lived a life contrary to an acceptable society which made him a living threat to the Roman Empire . Cynics during Jesus’ times did socially unacceptable things as a form of rebellion against the confines of the social structure. Jesus as a Jew in his Jewish world may have developed contacts with the Cynics and itinerant preachers.

The scriptures did not provide any support or evidence where Jesus lived until he was baptized,baptized; the Gospel of John recorded major incidents around Tiberias and avoided Hellenic cities. A reference to Jesus’ presence in Hellenic cities would create questions. Additionally the bible does not make any explanation why Jesus avoided or in fact did not go there. Crossan provided that “Jesus is rural, they are urban” which says that Jesus is organizing a communal movement while the Cynics are following an individual philosophy.

This provides in analysis that there is in fact a difference between Jesus and Cynicism. In the first chapter theHis general introduction dwells on the anthropology of the first century Mediterranean to give the reader a perspective of cultural separation in the period. It places Nazareth geographically within the Mediterranean world. These bring about an understanding why Jesus may have been exposed to the Cynical tradition as a philosophical way of life that withdraws itself from the world. Crossan argues that Jesus practiced elements of the Cynical tradition.

His evidence however points out that Galilee’s traditional village life was collapsing under Roman imperialistic rule. Bethlehem was a “a comparatively small and unimportant rural village, but plays an important role through the entire course of Old Testament history” (p. 43).. The Cynic movement was seen providedas an alternative lambaste to the declining economic structure within the area.

The particular response of the Jewish people to the Roman rule according to Crossant started before the first century until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. Strong opposition to the Romans considers the naturale of a peasant opposition to oppression against an extractive agrarian empire which is Jesus sentiment. Jesus as a man dedicated to the immediate problem of his society, accepted “those who were social outcasts as a symbol for Jesus’ vision of an egalitarian society”. When Crossan provided Jesus acceptance of all people, no matter how sinful, this disregards the pivotal values of honor and shame, patronage and clientele and civilization’s hierarchies, discriminations, and exclusions.

Crossan considered this to be the heart of Jesus’ message. He also understands that “Jesus operates at a level of resistance that is somewhere between the covert and the overt—a level between those of the bandits and those who chose to stay quiet. ” Crossan considered this to be the heart of Jesus’ message. Based on materials dating back between AD 20 and 60, Crossan also relayed that according to the gospel common in Matthew, Luke and Thomas; the earliest records present “Mythmaking” about Jesus which do not actually present the historical life of Jesus or his early community.

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