What’s coming up on the next episode of the podcast? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
On the next episode of the Deeper Waters podcast, my guest will be biblical scholar David Instone-Brewer, author of the book “The Jesus Scandals.” The book is a look at various items that are included in the gospels that would have been embarrassing to the writers, but they had to be put in anyway.
Why? Some cases like the miracles could not really be denied. Wait. Miracles would be seen as embarrassing? They would be. The general climate of the populace was to scoff at the claims of miracles. Perhaps the only exception would have been in Palestine, and even there there would have been some resistance.
Other claims had to be brought up to deal with the rumors that would have been passed around about Jesus. We would think the virgin birth would have been given to bring honor to Jesus. Not at all. It would likely remind a number of readers of supposed pagan parallels, of which there aren’t really any like Jesus, but the charge would have often been brought up that Jesus was illegitimate. The story of the virgin birth had to be given because it is the true story, even though it would have been easier to just say the father was Joseph or even a Pantera.
These are meant to address the criterion of embarrassment. By having embarrassing details in the gospels, it lends more credibility to them, and these are just two that I have mentioned that can be found in the accounts. I only bring them up because they’re the ones most people would have an opinion about without realizing that they were scandalous.
Also mentioned are the difficult teachings of Jesus. Why would the gospels have teachings of Jesus that his own followers had a hard time following and were quite out of sync with the rest of the community where He lived? Could it be that the real reason Jesus is recorded as teaching such hard teachings is that He in fact did teach them?
What about His having companions that were women? In the Jewish culture of the day, a rabbi was not to associate with women, but Jesus did so. They were among some of His followers as well. Why would a rabbi do this in Jesus’s time knowing it was out of kilter with the way that society behaved? Could it be not only that Jesus knew the heart of God towards women, but also that Jesus actually did associate with women?
Finally, we will be talking about the Asperger’s community in Cambridge where Instone-Brewer is at. This is relevant because it is Autism Awareness Month and also because Jesus gave a unique status to the disabled, and the fact that someone disabled is allowed to have a position in the Christian church and have a podcast and be liked by so many of you, to which I am grateful, is an influence of the work of Christ 2,000 years ago.
Please join us. The call in number from 3-5 EST on Saturday 4/20/13 is 714-242-5180. Link can be found here.