Jesus the Jew

I’m watching the new Channel 4 (UK) series, Christianity: A History:

“[an] Eight-part history of the Christian faith, looking at its origins, development and turbulent past. High-profile British personalities examine a religion that has particular resonance for them.”

I’ve watched several of the five episodes that have aired so far, but the one I’ve found most interesting was episode one, “Jesus the Jew”, which follows Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson‘s exploration of Jesus in his own time.

I have had a fascination with Jesus — as a historical figure, as a cult leader, as a phenomenon — most of my adult life. (In truth, I have a fascination with — and simultaneous aversion to — religion in general that started with an obsession with Greek and Roman mythology in my teens, but I grew up in Christianity and so that is the one that most consistently grabs my attention.) Despite having been raised a church-going Protestant, I’ve never been baptised, christened, or confirmed and so have never considered myself really a Christian (to my mother’s eternal disappointment). I’m definitely not one now and no amount of proselytising will ever make me one, not even on my deathbed. But that doesn’t quell my interest in the historical, mythological, and scholarly aspects of Jesus the man or the early centuries of Christianity. Continue reading “Jesus the Jew”