Based on the following article found in Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pete-enns/3-ways-jesus-read-the-bib_b_5902534.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
I’ve decided that I am probably not an Evangelical, if they are taught anything like what this author has been taught about Jesus. The more I read his article, the more concerned I became that people actually teach their flock this way.
For instance, I completely disagree with what the author discusses in his item 1. What Jesus was saying in Luke 20 is that when God tells Moses at the burning bush that He is the God of Abraham (etc), God was using the present tense when He says “I AM the God of Abraham…”, not saying “I WAS the God of….” (all the emphasis is mine). No, there is no deeper meaning to Exodus 3:6 and neither did Jesus try to make it so; He merely pointed out the obvious in the text, that God is STILL the God of Abraham.
In the second item, the author tries to make the point that Jesus was imitating Moses going up on the mountain and speaking to those gathered. In Matthew 5 it clearly states that Jesus was speaking to His disciples, not the crowd. “And having seen the multitudes, he went up to the mount, and he having sat down, his disciples came to him, and having opened his mouth, he was teaching them….” (taken from Young’s Literal Translation, my preferred version when I want to know exactly what was said).
The author additionally tries to make the point that Jesus was formally declaring He was here now and things were going to change. Yet within the scripture itself Jesus says “for, verily I say to you, till that the heaven and the earth may pass away, one iota or one tittle may not pass away from the law, till that all may come to pass.” (Matthew 5:18) The author seems to miss the point that Jesus is saying that not only should you follow the letter of the law, but you should go over and above the law and do it with Love. At no point does Jesus indicate that, as the author puts it, “some parts of the Bible are over and and it’s time to head in a new direction”.
In this item 2, the author says that Jesus dropped the whole “taking an oath” thing the Israelites did, making oaths to one another. But the author misunderstands what Jesus meant. Jesus never said the true people of God shouldn’t make oaths, Jesus said don’t make an oath in God’s name, because you can’t change even one thing in this world and cannot speak for God. Jesus said simply say yes or no and let it stand. That’s vastly different from making a binding verbal contract with your neighbor. It’s the difference, in modern terms, of shaking hands with your neighbor and agreeing to pay for half the fence between you two, and declaring “I swear in God’s name I wasn’t speeding Officer”. I believe the author simply does not understand the difference between the two.
As item 3 is the author’s summary of the other two, with the obvious addition of the “Jesus wasn’t a Christian, He was a Jew”, I won’t comment, only to disagree according with what I’ve written above. I would suggest the author spend some time studying the Samaritans, the Essenes and Jesus’ probable interaction with both.
In my own summary, I have to say the author truly misses the absolute most important thing that Jesus tried to teach us about religion; we should go above the law and do things for Love. And He didn’t need to change a single word or add any other meaning to the scripture to make that point.