The Gospel According to Doonesbury

I was catching up on a few comics this morning and finally read Sunday’s Doonesbury:

Of course such a view of both the Old Testament and the New Testament is incredibly simplistic. (And the irony is the passage being cited in the first panel is in fact from the NT, Romans 1:18.) I understand that Trudeau is going for the banking joke, nice, I get it. But he perpetuates the myth fostered by the Jesus Seminar, et al, that Jesus never said anything about judgment.

Do a quick search for the phrase “kingdom of heaven” or “kingdom of God” and you will find that Jesus’ vision of the future includes God judging both the wicked and the righteous and there are dire consequences for those who are not accepted into the kingdom. (That whole wailing and gnashing of teeth thing was Jesus.) Of course the Seminar and others say  that Jesus never would have said these things, but why not? Such conceptions were certainly very common within Second Temple Judaism, why should Jesus hold a different view?

This post isn’t a defense of the Gospels as they stand or a dissection of the Jesus Seminar’s claims, just a simple effort to, as the literary critics put it, “problematize” the view of Jesus presented in Doonesbury. By all accounts he was one tough and ornery hombre.

UPDATE: This is a late update but Mark Goodacre commented on this as well and has the links to the ADL Press release and a comment from Rabbi David Saperstein.

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