March 12, 2012 in Christianity
One of the areas on which various Energion authors have differing perspectives is the relationship of the gospels to history.
All future generations of believers are contemporaries of Jesus who can remember his mighty deeds because the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, teaches them and “re-minds” them of what they have neither seen nor heard. Once the disciples received the Holy Spirit who taught them all things and reminded them of all things in the light of the Scriptures, then and only then did they understand what Jesus had been about. This is the Johannine definition of the memory that is guided by the Holy Spirit. It understands what it did not know and remembers what it had neither seen nor heard in order to actualize in labors of love the life of Jesus on earth. To all his disciples Jesus says: “Remember the word that I said to you” (15: 20).
As is often the case, differences in the way we read the gospels lead back to differences in the way we understand inspiration. On this topic Energion Publications currently lists History and Christian Faith and From Inspiration to Understanding, (Edward W. H. Vick) as well as my own When People Speak for God.
Taking a completely different view of the origins and historicity of the gospels, we have Why Four Gospels? by David Alan Black. Of course I have read all these books as an editor, but I have also found it very helpful to read these very different approaches in other people’s works as well, or books with even more extreme differences, such as Stein’s Jesus the Messiah or Bock’s Jesus according to Scripture on the one hand and Borg’s Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.