How Jesus Became a Missing Person, Part 2

By Liz Voboril
Podcast Episode

Sign up here to receive an email with highlights each time we add a podcast. This episode continues our conversation about how Jesus became a missing person.

“In classical Greek literature, people are defined by their central characteristic. Achilles in the Iliad is swift; he is swift Achilles. Everything he does is swift. Erich Auerbach* compares that to Jacob. If you look at Jacob, in the first part of his life he’s just a scoundrel. He’s crafty. If he was in the Iliad, he would be crafty Jacob. But, as Robert Alter* puts it, Jacob, like so many other Bible characters is a 'center of surprise.' Jacob actually changes.”


“Emotions made Stoics nervous. If you've been in an argument lately, you know why."


“The Jewish love of the physical meant that they could affirm Jesus’ humanity but not his divinity. The Greek mind was the inverse of this. Jesus’ divinity was easy for the Greeks to see; it was his humanity that they struggled with. In the fake gospel of Judas, Judas—because he loves Jesus—gives Jesus over to be crucified so Jesus can be rid of his body. That’s the Greek mind, it didn’t like the body.”

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*See Erich Auerbach's Mimesis and Robert Alter's The Art of Biblical Narrative.