Friday, June 02, 2006
Historical Jesus vs Storical Jesus
Bro. Juniper said that he heard that Gordon Hu plans to visit the monastery this weekend, which seems to delight everyone here. I now recall the conversation with Gordon Hu that changed his somewhat sober demeanor to what I would describe as a real "Ah ha!" moment. He had been peppering me with questions, most pertaining to what he described as the unbelievable aspects of Jesus, all things metaphysical, as he said, those 'miracles' which prevented him from ever seriously studying Christianity, keeping him firmly planted in the here-and-now of Confucianism. I had said that sometimes one must distinguished between story and history, that is, 'history' is the gathering and studying of data, the sifting of myth from fact, whereby 'story' is the studying of myths that resonate with us, for they speak a truth to us that is perhaps greater than any accumulated facts. In other words, I once heard someone say, the Bible is not a "historical" document, but a "storical" one -- it tells stories that transcend history.