Statesboro, GA, USA
Thank you all for you interesting views,,,I agree with opeth,,,aenimal,,,plese tell us more,,,,
Yes, I would actually like to hear more also. However, I imagine that such views of Jesus as a mere aphoristic moralist, whose teachings became distorted by later religionists, who altered the whole history for political reasons, is based upon a certain school of study.
That school / method is reflected in what was called the "Jesus Seminar". It was based upon 19th century theology and philosophy, heavily influenced by Renaisannce Humanism. If you're not familiar with the flow of philosophy which came out of the "Enlightenment", it is best summed up in the statement that "man is the measure of all things".
But if man is the measure of all things, and we live in a hermetically closed universe, then there can be no such thing as the "supernatural" ... or nothing coming in from the outside, so to speak.
It is this assumption, which many of these historians accepted uncritically. They used it as a procrustean bed, upon which to place the New Testament texts. If anything in the narrative didn't fit their philosophy (ie... anything miraculous, or not merely a social/ political move) then they confidently amputated it from the text. That's why their version of the New Testament is color coded as to what was actually said or not said ... what was actually done or not done.
That's why all the miraculous claims of the New Testament that Jesus made, including his own nature in reference to God, as God's son, had to have alternate explanations. After all, it COULDN'T actually mean what it said, since such things CAN'T be real. So, speculations and reconstructions about Paul and other ecclesial figures altering the history began to be accepted ... not so much on their merits, but upon the impossibility of the contrary. When a philosophy disallows certain answers, other answers look most credible, no matter what they are.
I would encourage you not to take such assumptions about the gospels to be fact, without looking closer. There is other scholarship that affirms the traditional understanding that the gospels are historically reflective of what happened, and what was said.
liar, lunatic, or lord,,,,,,,what a choice
If the texts reflect what happened, then it does appear that that's what we're left with. Jesus was anything but another moralist ... the world had plenty of those before Christ came, and good ones too. That would seemingly compliment him, but in light of what he did and said, it is only a patronizing reaction to him. If he's not the son of God, then he's anything but a good example.
I'm not saying that appreciation of Jesus' moral teaching is not a good transitory path to understanding him ... I'm more talking about making it the final estimation of who he is. It is there, that such an answer cannot work.