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What if Jesus was only a literary character ?

Michel Barlow

Translation Louise Thunin

His new mustache worried him. And this accessory of seduction often led him to take on the joyful and provocative role of class needler. After listening to the philosophy teacher (me) expound on The Two Sources of Morals and of Religion (Henri Bergson), he pretended to explode : « But Sir ! Believers are all crazy ! They talk to somebody who doesn’t exist ! »

I welcome the boy’s remark, placing myself in the axis of his own reflexions, the only place where our thoughts can meet.

« Your objection is unbeatable, Raoul, but only on the level of sensory realism. When we remember a novel we’ve read, for example, or someone who has died, or an imaginary character, this person is really present in our mind : we cry, we laugh, we react when we think of him : so why shouldn’t we speak about him ? And concerning the subject at hand, Jesus is the main character of a literary work called the Gospels : the memories and reflexions of the first generations of his disciples… »

« Yeah ! But don’t fool yourself ! (this expression was in fashion that year). When we go over our memories, they get prettier and prettier and end up being…extraordinary ! That’s how we can explain the so-called ‘miracles’ of Jesus ! »

« Take your reasoning all the way to the end, Raoul ! If the Gospel stories are often legendary (maybe even always, why not ?), that would only detract from their credibility if we wanted them to be a historical narative. But they are, above all, a spiritual message, and as such, they can speak to everyone, believers or not. So… »

« In a nutshell, the only thing you are proving to us, Sir, is that Jesus is a literary character.. . So, you’re lucky that we aren’t in the Middle Ages, ’cuz the Catholics would burn you at the stake for heresy ! »



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À propos Gilles

a été pasteur à Amsterdam et en Région parisienne. Il s’est toujours intéressé à la présence de l’Évangile aux marges de l’Église. Il anime depuis 17 ans le site Internet Protestants dans la ville.

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