The Canonical Gospels In Asian Faces Of

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The Canonical Gospels In Asian Faces Of Jesus Essay, Research Paper The Canonical gospels in Asian Faces of Jesus This paper examines the usage of the canonical gospels in four segments of Asian Faces of Jesus, edited by R. S. Sugirtharajah: ?Christ and Buddha?, by Seiichi Yagi; ?Confessing Christ in the Islamic Context? by Alexander J. Malik; ?The Crucified Christ Challenges Human Power? by Kosuke Koyama; and the interpretative sections by Sugirtharajah. The following questions form the framework for this inquiry: 1.How does the author see Jesus? 2.How does the author use the gospels? Christ and Buddha Yagi?s stance is to show an essential unity or consonance between Buddha and Jesus. He does this by emphasizing the teaching role of Jesus and suppressing the cross and

limiting his use of the gospels to interpretation of the parables. Generally he interprets them responsibly, with one notable exception. View of Jesus Jesus is a ?founder? of a ?great religious tradition? who ?found and realized religious truth common to all humanity?. (25) He ?held ?arrogance? to be more sinful than any transgression of the law.? (26) Jesus is not successful as a teacher: Jesus could teach for only a few years. His disciples were not highly educated. There was presumably no one who really understood Jesus sufficiently to succeed his leadership or his teaching directly. (31) For this reason, they invented other roles for Jesus than teacher. He considers these roles invalid: To the ?sinners? at that time, the behavior of Jesus was decisive but not intelligible.

They could not see how ?sinners? could be justified before God. Possibly some of the ?sinners? sought for an explanation that was intelligible to them and found it at last in their own interpretation of the inexplicable death of Jesus as atonement: He died for sinners so that they could be justified and enter the Reign of God. Not the teaching, but the man, Jesus, was decisive to them. His assessment is not necessarily intellectually defensible, for the gospels are products of these ?sinners? and contain both reflections about the man and digests of the message, thus both the teaching and the message were ?decisive? to them. Yagi asserts that to say that Jesus is God is merely to say that God can be seen through encounter with Jesus. Jesus was the only human being, at that time

and in that place, as far as the writers of the New Testament knew, in whom God was real. In this sense God was real nowhere outside Jesus, or God acted through Jesus and as Jesus….In this sense Jesus was God and God was Jesus. (35) This allows Jesus to be parallel with Buddha: Then, for Christians, Jesus is the realization of the secondary contact par excellence as Gotama Buddha is for Buddhists.(36) Use of the gospels Since Yagi only views Jesus as a teacher, he confines his use of the gospels to the teachings he finds there, most specifically the parables. He does not use such sayings as the Beatitudes or Woes, the expansions of the law in the Sermon on the Mount, or the Sermon at Nazareth; perhaps he does not consider such things to be teaching. When he interprets the

parables he uses a clear and reasonable method, neither overly specific nor overly allegorical: ?To the lawyer?s question of who is the neighbor he should love in obedience to the commandment to love one?s neighbor, Jesus? reply makes clear not how to think, but how to love: [the good Samaritan, Lk 10:30-37]. In another story, Jesus sees in nature not the universal Logos but the love of God very concretely at work: [the lilies of the field, Mt 6:25-29]. It is characteristic of the word of Jesus that it sounds so natural, though it is absurd to the discriminating intellect. This is the case with the Parable of the Lost Sheep. The reader thinks involuntarily, ?Really who does not do so?? Yet, what shepherd would engage in such folly. Ninety-nine sheep are, economically, more