In Search of the Public Jesus
A Secularized Examination of the Gospels
by Ricardo Planas
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 28 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 17 Feb 2022
After more than two thousand years, and having divided itself into multiple denominations, Christianity is still at odds regarding an understanding of Jesus.
Amidst the divisiveness surrounding the public Jesus, there is among Christians a personal Jesus. This is the Jesus who followers bond in silence with, pray to, cry and laugh with; the one who understands their hopes, disappointments, and shortfalls, and whose teachings inspire their daily lives.
Millions of people find this intimate Jesus comforting. But the personal Jesus is not the problem. The problem lies when the personal Jesus emerges into the public square and confronts different personal Jesuses. Disagreements over Jesus’s teachings have led to enormous misfortunes, including dissension, personal and religious division, and even warfare.
Today, religious polarization extends into the world of politics as divided Christians use their beliefs and behavior both as swords and shields to justify their actions. The purpose of this book is to demythologize the Gospels and expose the hidden message behind the written letter.
This work relies on two intriguing approaches that allow viewing the public Jesus from different angles by reformatting the Gospels into multiple categories relevant to Christianity.
Rereading the texts from a different vantage point allows a more realistic image of the public Jesus to emerge than that provided by apologists or detractors of the Christian faith; an image of who he was at the time, beyond what people might think, feel, or believe he is today.
Average rating from 3 members
Despite good effort, there seems to be no way to define Jesus with any certainty. Kudos to the author for trying.
Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC.
This book doesn’t discuss exactly what I thought I understood what I thought it would. It doesn’t discuss what Jesus said or did. It is trying to understand what the Gospel’s authors attributed to Jesus. Christianity believes that God inspired their writings for the Gospels. I certainly found myself reading as I became more curious about this subject. My own thoughts are that the author didn’t really answer it or at least as I understand it.