Baker Academic

Monday, November 9, 2015

New saying of Jesus discovered!

Political parties in Germany traditionally have an ambivalent relationship towards religion in general and the Christian tradition and Christian Churches in particular. Conservative, “bourgeois” parties bear the word “Christian” in their names (like the Christian Social Union, CSU), whereas the left spectrum usually shows reservation.

But the current refugee crisis seems to turn matters on their head, in a way. Jesus is rediscovered as a refugee (an allusion to Matthew 2:13). Taking a step back and a looking at the phenomenon from a point of view that is informed by historical Jesus research, the apparent distinction between “the real Jesus” and later distorted interpretation is interesting. In a rather enlightened manner and for polemical reasons, the German Green party uses Jesus to unmask the hypocrisy of the “Christian” parties and their asylum policy. They even invent a new saying of Jesus that pretends to reveal his political orientation.

CSU enforces: Most strict interpretation of the asylum law ever in Germany…
 “I would never vote for the CSU!” – Jesus of Nazareth, refugee

Of course, this is a polemical trick. However, assuming that it is not pure irony, it is striking that the Greens refer to Jesus as an authority and transform his assumed attitude to modern politics into a new, catchy saying, according to the criterion of coherence: “It could have been like that”...


  1. In the same way as the Greens, Paul and others in say Acts, hinted in effect that a thought or spirit in their minds, might be The Holy Spirit. A spirit said to be authorized to extend or add to the words of Jesus, even after his death. Even perhaps, in or under his name.

  2. Dear Christine, it's striking that you're using the word 'striking' in almost all your posts...

    1. Anonymous, When you write "almost all your posts" do you mean "all two of your posts"?

  3. I'm thinking the Greens did this with a sense of humor. Not so sure about Paul however.

    Acts-era authors seemed to really think that the holy spirit allowed them to speak for God, and perhaps even invent speeches attributed to him.

    The first post-death speeches were pretty timid, in some ways; just Jesus doing mild, unexceptionable things. Like asking for some food. But soon enough, Jesus issues a seemingly full endorsement of his successors, among other things. Citing the Spirit as the justification.

    So soon they could issue whatever thought came into their heads, as words from Him. As long as their words had some plausible link to the earlier holy texts.