Letters - 21 July 2017

From Jesus and Jews to 'I don't want to be good'

Jesus and Jews

I have noticed one or two references to Jews and to Jesus in recent issues of the Friend which I find troubling.

Over the years I have ceased being surprised by inaccurate and misleading comments by several Christians about the Jewishness of Jesus and the evolution and variety of Hebrew thought in the Jewish scriptures. This is a vast field and I think it merits more reflection among some Friends before they put pen to paper.

I have just finished reading a brilliant study of the evolution of Christianity from its earliest times to the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. It is called Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30-325. It was written by Geza Vermes, a Hungarian Jew who became an outstanding scholar of Christianity and, for a time, a Roman Catholic priest.

He charts well the transformation from the charismatic Jewishness of the message and life of Jesus to the demands for uniformity at Nicaea based on Platonic and Stoic philosophies, which had little to do with the original proclamation.

A challenge to read perhaps but a useful education!

Harvey Gillman

Editor: A review of Christian Beginnings can be found in  the Friend of 14 July.

What soft silence wills

Thank you, thank you Freya Blyth (7 July) for your telling of the wonderful Meeting for Worship at Young Friends General Meeting in May.

It takes great courage to share the darkest moments of our lives but, if we can, it brings great comfort and love and, also, joy and hope. I shall treasure your sharing of this and keep your poem close to my heart.

A true experience of the working of the Spirit in a gathered Quaker Meeting.

Valerie Whitby

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