Tom Gilson

Episode 6: Jesus: Not an ‘Ordinary Rabbi’ Story

Thinking Christian
Thinking Christian
Episode 6: Jesus: Not an 'Ordinary Rabbi' Story

Bob Seidensticker, atheist blogger at Patheos, tells us that if you “strip away” the miraculous from the story of Jesus, “you’re left with a fairly ordinary rabbi.” He says, “The Jesus story is nothing but the supernatural elements.” In this episode of the Thinking Christian podcast I take him up on that. Take the miracles out of the Jesus story, and what do you have left? You have the character of Jesus, and even as stories go, even without the miracles as plot points, there’s nothing remotely ordinary about who Jesus was.

I could only tell part of that in one podcast, unfortunately. There’s much more in my forthcoming book Too Good to be False. You can pre-order the book on Amazon today, and a free preview chapter is yours, too, if you simply subscribe to updates at the Thinking Christian blog. More on the book here!

Subscribe to the podcast, too, on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Approximate Timings

0:36: Introducing the question, based on a comment by atheist blogger Bob Seidensticker: Take away the miracles from Jesus’ story, and what do you have left? He says it’s an “ordinary rabbi” story.
2:30: Game on. Let’s see what happens to the story without its miraculous element.
3:22: Elements of a story: setting, plot, dialogue, character. Seidensticker comes out okay on the first two.
5:15: What about dialogue and character, though?
5:23: Interlude on an upcoming webinar, Junday, July 26 at 7:30 pm Eastern.
6:30: Jesus’ extraordinary claim in the Beatitudes
9:14: Jesus’ extraordinary authority claim in Matthew 5:17.
12:45: Jesus’ extraordinary — and extraordinarily fulfilled — commission to his disciples.
16:20: So what, though? For one thing, Seidensticker is showing his prejudice against the story.
18:20: Does this prove the story is true? Not on its own, though it does put pressure on the atheists’ explanation for the story.


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