Showing posts with label The Bad Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Bad Jesus. Show all posts

Bad Boy, Bad Jesus, Bad Bad Jesus: Reviewing “The Bad Jesus” by Dr. Avalos, Part 2

The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics is a 461 page monster of a book written by biblical scholar Dr. Hector Avalos. It's unlike any other scholarly book on the market today. It tells us the rest of the story of the Jesus we find in the four gospels, the dark side, the raw side that biblical scholars try to whitewash over because they think Jesus deserves special treatment. Dr. Avalos by contrast takes off the blinders, forcing readers to see what Jesus was really like.

My guess is that people won't like Jesus after reading his book. I don't. He's not a guy I would want living next to me, or being around my children, or writing a column in a magazine, or politically involved in America that's for sure. No one should. Let's even have done with the notion Jesus was an over-all good person. I would want little to do with him. You might too after reading this wonderfully researched, one-of-a-kind book on an essential issue in disabusing Christians of their faith.

In the future when someone says Jesus was sinless, respond by saying "Bad Jesus." If someone holds up Jesus as an example of a good life, hold up Hector's book "Bad Jesus" in response. If someone asks, "What would Jesus do?," respond by asking them to read "Bad Jesus." It is the antidote to people who indefensibly think Jesus was a perfect human being. It is the corrective to believers who think we need a red-letter edition of the New Testament. It tells us the rest of the story, a story that most people and most Christians have never heard before.

Having said this I want readers to take a look at the contents of his book below, including selected quotes I've chosen from what Avalos writes in each chapter. Keep in mind I make no pretense to summarizing these chapters, only providing a few quotes that might provoke you to read it, which you should. See for yourselves:

Bad Boy, Bad Jesus, Bad Bad Jesus: Reviewing “The Bad Jesus” by Dr. Avalos, Part 1

One Proud Owner of "The Bad Jesus"
The prolific and indefatigable Dr. Hector Avalos, who is a giant of a man, a scholar's scholar, just released a new book, The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics. In it he continues with a main theme of two of his previous books, the theological, ethical and political irrelevance of the Bible for the modern world. In The End of Biblical Studies (2007), he masterfully showed how biblical scholars are preoccupied with maintaining the relevance of the Bible for the modern world, even though their own research actually shows the opposite. In Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship (2011), he expertly showed how modern biblical scholars are still unjustifiably defending the indefensible ethics of biblical slavery. In this new book Avalos takes on the over-all ethics of Jesus himself---Oh My---as represented in the four canonical gospels (irrespective of whether Jesus existed or not, which he remains an agnostic about). Avalos skillfully shows how the Jesus depicted in the New Testament has a bad side, a side permeated by a “religiocentric, ethnocentric and imperialistic orientation.” He reveals the bad side of Jesus that modern biblical scholars unjustifiably try to hide from view.

Here is how he states it:
If one relied on most modern treatises of New Testament ethics, Jesus had no bad ideas, and never committed any bad deed. This cannot possibly be sustained if Jesus is viewed as a real historical human figure. If Jesus was a human being, he must have had some ideas that are ethically objectionable, or, at least, morally questionable. If Jesus was a human being, he must have had flaws, inconsistencies and hypocrisy in his moral system, just as does every other human being. If his followers, ancient or modern, believe that those ideas are applicable to their lives and to the lives of others, then it also raises the question of whether any of Jesus’ bad ideas also had bad consequences. If Jesus had some bad ideas, then imitating Jesus’ bad ideas could be a bad practice today. Given how much time historically has been spent on lauding the Good Jesus, this book centers on illuminating ‘the Bad Jesus’. (pp. 29-30)