Monday, December 24, 2007


We are a society that claims to value rational inquiry into almost any subject you can name. We are hungry for knowledge. So we say.

We are eager to know what the moon is made of, what lies at the bottom of the sea, how do centipedes move, and whether a horse lifts all four legs off the ground at once when it trots. What was Abraham Lincoln really like? How does the brain work? What is the human genome?

If there are practical results to any of these questions, like medical breakthroughs, so much the better. But that's not necessary. We just like to know. We especially like it if the answers are rational, scientific, well-founded, indisputable or almost indisputable. "So now we finally know ..." There are no more thrilling words for many people.

But there is one great exception. I could repeat it on every blog. Nobody wants to know the historical Jesus, Jew that he was. That includes scholars. We are so much happier with the myths about him. The myth of some Jews killing Jesus is a special favorite. To this day, almost no one has let go of it. No one even questions it.

Everyone promotes their preferred theology or their favorite wild speculation that titillates us (like the claim that Jesus was married). But rational inquiry based on an abundance of evidence is the last thing anybody wants. Myth about Jesus is so much better, so much more satisfying. Why is it like this? Will it always be this way?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?