PonderIt

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Prophet's Declaration of Belief

A group called The Jesus Seminar meets twice a year to hear papers and conduct votes to determine what Jesus really said. The group is composed of over 200 scholars interested in the historical Jesus.

The voting system they use to determine the authenticity of the words of Jesus as recorded in the Bible has been summarized by one member this way:
  • red: That's Jesus!
  • pink: Sure sounds like Jesus.
  • gray: Well, maybe.
  • black: There's been some mistake.

According to Luke Timothy Johnson (p. 14), this group concluded that all of the Gospel of John, save three lines, were NOT the real words of Jesus and deserved a "black" vote. The remaining three lines got a "gray" vote.

According to a 1998 poll of religious leaders, many of them don't believe in the physical resurrection of Christ. Here are the percentages for doubters among the clergy.
  • American Lutherans: 13%
  • Presbyterians: 30%
  • American Baptist: 33%
  • Episcopalians: 35%
  • Methodists: 51%
Here are the words of President Hinckley in this month's First Presidency Message.
I believe without equivocation or reservation in God the Eternal Father. He is my Father, the Father of my spirit, and the Father of the spirits of all men. He is the great Creator, the Ruler of the universe. He directed the Creation of this earth on which we live. In His image man was created. He is personal. He is real. He is individual. He has "a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's" (D&C 130:22).

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal, living God. I believe in Him as the Firstborn of the Father and the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. I believe in Him as an individual, separate and distinct from His Father. I believe in the declaration of John, who opened his gospel with this majestic utterance:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

"The same was in the beginning with God. . . . 

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:1–2, 14).

2 Comments:

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  • I'm sure that the enlightened folks that seem to think that Jesus could never have said many of the politically incorrect things recorded in the scriptures sneer at beliefs such as those stated by Pres. Hinckley, thinking them to be fundeamental buffoonery.

    They're welcome to their opinions, but I'm not about to base my eternal welfare on these elitists opinions.

    By Blogger Reach Upward, at 7/05/2006 12:41 PM  

  • Yes. This is an immportant perspective to keep in mind. I sometimes get a little bored with GBH doctrinally speaking, but once in a while I realize what a powerful thing our basic beliefs are. To me they blow everything else out there completely away.

    By Blogger Eric Nielson, at 7/05/2006 6:23 PM  

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