The long "Quest of the Historical Jesus" has come to an end--according to Floyd Hale, the author of HOW JESUS WAS LOST IN THE BIBLE ... AND FOUND. This is a brief review in his own words.
Jesus was the "first Gandhi" (to sum it up in one statement). To make this obvious I first show--"by the Scriptures"--that all the other images and titles laid on Jesus after his death by the Church are false. That takes a few pages of what may be considered boring by some--even heresy by others.
The real Jesus' primary task was to pick and train dedicated followers who would conduct nothing short of a revolution--"nonviolently." Needless to say this would cause enemies, whom they were to "love"--while "hating" their own families. Words like these have caused Bible scholars to miss seeing Jesus applied this kind of teaching to those whom he would "send out," and not to "all believers." Jesus's execution as a seditionist by the Romans stopped the "revolution" before it started. No "sender-outer," no revolution. But the "edited"plans were well remembered and can be gleaned from the Gospels. This reveals the image the "planner."
Jesus was a Humanist and needs to be rescued from the Bible and let stand in History on his own, no longer shackled by religion. One of the purposes of this book is an effort to do just that.
A full Review of "How Jesus Was Lost ... And Found," is Mike Travelstead's Review which follows:
How Jesus Was Lost in the Bible … and Found by Floyd Hale
Reviewed by Mike Travelstead, Macedonia, IL
In his latest of several self-published books, The Reverend Floyd Hale has taken on the Herculean task of redefining Jesus the Christ. Having read all of the previous books, which were thought-provoking for truth-seekers, I found this latest volume most compelling, following a consistent logic, using much illustration, explanation, and scriptural reference.
If readers approach the text with an open mind and critical attitude, they will be rewarded with a cogent argument worthy of reflection, one that re-shapes the image of Jesus, who has had a profound and far-reaching effect on the history of our world.
The thesis of How Jesus Was Lost in the Bible … and Found claims that the traditional titles applied to Jesus—Christ, Messiah, Savior, Son of God, Son of Man—by the church are false because the Old Testament “prophecies” did not apply to him nor foretell him. Some liberal Biblical scholars have denied the divinity of Jesus, but maintain that he was a wise teacher. The Reverend Hale goes further by insisting that Jesus commanded his followers not just to “believe”, but to “act”. He trained them to conduct a non-violent revolution designed to change the system, a system which oppressed the poor and suffering. Later leaders, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., adopted this sacrificial but effective technique. However, Jesus’ plan was aborted by his premature execution.
Hale’s style is conversational, infused with Southern Illinois humor, some references which may not be readily apparent to younger readers. Some analogies, too, are quite instructive. I like especially the football analogy he uses at the end. Hale speculates that Jesus “has a dream," in which he forms a team that will carry the ball, but he dies a moment before kick-off. The game is called for a memorial service. But instead of going back to the field, they continue conducting memorial services. That is powerful.
This plan never came to fruition because, as Hale claims, Jesus’ followers misinterpreted his idea of the Kingdom. As the early church was being established, many different beliefs contended for precedence. The historical figure who virtually single-handedly created the Christian Church as it is known was St. Paul. Completely ignoring the stories of Jesus’ miraculous birth, Paul emphasizes the resurrection as the basis of his faith, hoping for eternal salvation sometime in the future. Hale maintains that Jesus’ preaching of the Kingdom defines “eternal” as “now”—the Kingdom of God is here right now. This definition of “eternal” may not be the common perception, but Joseph Campbell, the late world renowned expert on world mythology and important influence on George Lucas’ Star Wars, also defines “eternal” as the “here and now.”
Floyd Hale is no stranger to controbersy. His writing and preaching over the years have created no small amount of unrest, readers and listeners experiencing bewielderment, disbelief, and even anger. But he has kindly and courageously held the line. His background is much like many of us who grew up in the traditional church environment, a literal reading of the Bible, with apparent contradictions which were not allowed to be questioned, fear instilled by a wrathful God who punishes and rewards. Hale entered seminary with a desire to "preach the word" and perpetuate the system, but his God-given intellect forced him to reconsider the orthodoxy. This has led him on a lifelong quest for truth, but it is a difficult and sometimes lonely road, "the road not taken" as Robert Frost would have it.
Others have written on similar topics. One especially like it is Why Christianity Must Change or Die by John Shelby Spong, retired dishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. Spong maintains that in light of scientific advancement and modern biblical criticism, the church must implement this knowledge or become irrelevant, or even extinct. Floyd Hale may have the idea that could solve this problem.