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Finding Jesus missing


A few years ago I was sharing an apartment in Ireland with a couple of Christian women — and, in Ireland, "Christian" means Protestant. These ladies were, more-specifically, "born-again" — they'd chosen the faith as adults.

I had an implicit conflict with one of them, which was pretty much like this: I liked her body, but not her face; and she was my housemate, therefore taboo — but what's taboo? And she was waiting for a husband; which is fine, but she was a virgin, at 30 years, for ideological reasons. She wasn't happy, I knew that. Nor was I; and I'd been raised Christian, so I found the whole matter disturbing.

Sorcha (fake name) never tried to preach to me, and I respected that; but at the same time I couldn't help asking about her faith, a little bit. And the discussion reached what I think is a kernel within the whole matter — the existence or not of Jesus. It was the first time that my desire to ask the question overcame the primeval fear of questioning the Savior whom I was, in my youth, expected to confess — on pain of ignominious unspecified eternal torture and shame.

Sorcha was involved in educating youngsters about the faith, and had ready answers for my questions. Josephus. Tacitus.

Nobody wrote about Jesus during the years commonly ascribed to him. But he was famous. Nobody wrote about him? On the cusp of Judaic and Roman cultures?

I found this astounding. I still do. There was nobody there — nobody at the center of the whole story.


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