To the Editor:
Recent letters to the editor by Jean Busse and Mark Wilcox have renewed my desire to have thoughtful discussions about religion; it does not need to be a verboten topic.
It makes us wiser to hear others’ opinions if done kindly. We must always trust our sources of information. When we have cancer, we seek an oncologist with such skills. When we speak of Biblical concerns, we must find scholars with language fluency and knowledge of the times.
We now know that none of the writers of the New Testament were eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus. Since most of the people of Jesus’ time and residence were illiterate, probably also Jesus, it allowed for persuasive speakers to try to influence the populace.
Remember we had no New Testament for over 300 years after Jesus’ death. That is a long time for truth and heresy to vie for position. We must read the New Testament, with all its inconsistencies, with those facts in mind. The Bible was written by man with all of his biases.
Yes, we do have documents other than the Bible that give insight into the first century. Even the famed Josephus is due some skepticism since he apparently switched sides and joined the Romans when his life was in peril.
Jesus was Jewish, not Christian, and he had no intention of overthrowing the law. He believed he was the Messiah that would save his people; he was defeated and crucified for insurrection.