Thursday, February 7, 2002

In a new book by Geza Vermes called The Changing Faces of Jesus, Vermes says that like a typical hick Galilean, Jesus is revealed in the Scriptures as having horrible grammar and pronunciation. To support this he says that the statement of Jesus' "Talitha kum" (Little lamb {often translated "girl"} get up), he is using the masculine form of "kum" rather than the correct feminine form "kumi", which Vermes notes some later translators noting, tried to change.

An interesting note for those who continue to look for God to manifest himself to them in perfection--both in others and themselves.

Of course, on the flip side is the whole thesis of Vermes book which tries to convince us that this uncouth charismatic galilean could change the face of the earth. This is always the problem with the search for the historical Jesus, namely that the historians accept usually one source as valid, while rejecting many others as simple myth.

Vermes is an interesting myth in his own right. Born in Hungary a Jew. He converted to Catholicism, was ordained a priest. Educated by the Church, he later left the priesthood to once again embrace his "Jewishness".

It seems there is a parallel here which "his" historical Jesus. Jesus born a Jew, and in Vermes opinion was converted into a Christian creation and now Vermes seeks to restore the original Jewish Jesus. But I think when it is all said and done what we have is an autobiography of Vermes' view of Jesus.

Having said all of that, he does help us to understand the Gospels that he accepts as historical.

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