In biblical scholarship, there has been an ongoing debate, dubbed "The Quest for the Historical Jesus." Essentially, this academic pursuit is an attempt to find out who this person, Jesus of Nazareth, actually was. The "Quest" has raised many interesting topics over the years, and has had a big impact on biblical scholarship. However, it's not just limited to academia! I think it is worthwhile for everyone to try to understand Jesus of Nazareth, as he has had a huge effect on the world we live in today.
So, to start what I hope will be a multi-part discussion, I'm casting the question out there for you to answer: who do you think Jesus of Nazareth was? If that seems too vague, how about this: what--if anything--made him different from other teachers, healers, exorcists, and messiah claimants? How would you characterize his life? Please post an answer in the comments below! Since this is just a discussion for the purpose of provoking thought, there are no wrong answers, so please be courteous of others who may have different beliefs/doubt/disbelief.
Next week, I will discuss your answers and add in some from the scholarly circles. Specifically, I want to discuss Adele Reinhartz's claim that there are three versions of Jesus seen in biblical scholarship. Please look forward to it. It is my sincere hope that we can all learn something as a result of this discussion.