A Gospel for Liberals
Considering the historical     Jesus in light of today’s most controversial social Issues

Jesus Was a Man

Unlike Mark, which was written for a more general audience, the Gospel of Matthew, written between 80 and 90 CE, attempts to convince a Jewish audience that Jesus was their promised Messiah by beginning with a lengthy genealogy tracing his bloodline all the way back to Abraham, the father of Israel, through David, to whom, according to Jewish tradition, he had to be related to be considered the true Messiah. “An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” In this obviously fictional account, his grandfather is named Jacob and his father Joseph, which, to a Jew, symbolizes the lineage from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to Joseph, to Jesus.  Thus, in the Matthian account, Jesus is God’s son at birth because of his bloodline.  He is portrayed therein as a new and improved Moses, similarly escaping the King’s death decree by fleeing to Egypt as an infant, going into the wilderness for 40 days (symbolic of Moses’ 40 years), and descending from a mountain with his beatitudes, just as Moses descended from a mountain with the Ten Commandments.

By the time we get to the Gospel of John, written during the early part of the Second Century, sometime after 100 CE, Jesus has ascended from being Christ at baptism, to Christ at birth, to Christ at conception, to Christ before creation itself. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” It is apparent, given the evolution of the Gospel story over time, that the further we are removed from the historical Jesus, the higher our Christology.  In other words, Jesus has become less human and more divine over time.  One of the earliest works in the Christian Testament, Philippians, written prior to any of the Gospels, doesn’t elevate Jesus to divine status until his death; “…and he became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.  Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name.

    Evolving Christology
                    100 CE                                                                                 John, X @ Creation     

                     90 CE                                                        Luke, X @ Conception

                      85 CE                                            Matthew, X @ Birth

                      65 CE                        Mark, X @ Baptism    

                      61 CE    Philippians,  X @ Death                                                                               Human