I'm writing about Eyal because I had the great pleasure of reading an essay he wrote about Lennon and Jesus today.
Here is his abstract:
After reading this article I couldn't help but think that Lennon's Jesus is very similar to Thomas Jefferson's Jesus. Both venerated Jesus as the ethical teacher par excellence. Both concluded that the person of Jesus could and should be "razored" away from the religious establishment.
I will also add this quote by Lennon that seems to be overshadowed. While he is well-remembered for claiming to the the reincarnation of Jesus, few remember that he recanted (somewhat dickishly, but still relevant):
“I wasn't saying whatever they're saying I was saying. I'm sorry I said it really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don't know quite what I've done. I've tried to tell you what I did do but if you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then OK, I'm sorry.”
These are my, admittedly amateurish, two cents. I thank Eyal Regev for a very interesting essay!
Regev's books include The Sadducees and Their Halakhah: Religion and Society in the Second Temple Period (lang: Hebrew; 2005) and Sectarianism in Qumran: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (lang: English; 2007). He has authored more than eighty scholarly essays, including “Were the Early Christians Sectarians?” in the Journal of Biblical Literature.