The focus of the story is John Dominic Crossan, a former priest from Ireland who believes in a non-supernatural rendering of Christ. But why did CNN headline this story today? The following paragraphs should give it away:
In Jesus' time, Rome was forcing many Jewish families into destitution, with high taxes and land seizures. Some Jews advocated violent rebellion, but others opted for non-violent resistance.Yes, because suicide bombers for Mohammad are just the same as ridding the world of those committing unspeakable violence such as Hitler, Stalin and Saddam. And maybe Jesus didn't fly into a rage when he saw the moneychangers in the Temple, maybe he just put up signs and had his disciples organize a drum circle. And he never said "render unto Caesar", he was here to non-violently remove him. And it wasn't the Sanhedrin who went to the Romans to complain because he threatened their power, it was the Romans who went to Romans.
Jesus called for nonviolent resistance to Rome and just distribution of land and food. He was crucified because he threatened Roman stability -- not as a sacrifice to God for humanity's sins, Crossan says.
If you believe in a God that uses violence to "save" humanity, you'll start believing that violence is permissible in certain circumstances, such as suicide bombing or invading other countries to spread democracy, Crossan says.
But let's cut to the chase here. Regardless of how Biblical historians or believers feel about the life of Christ it's a pretty good bet CNN published this because Crossan believes Jesus was an extraordinary peasant socialist non-violent revolutionary who believed in spreading the wealth around. He was not the son of God, more like Martin Luther King with healing powers. Or even Barack Obama. Or to paraphrase--"take that you tea baggin' Jesus freaks in Jesusland rooting for Governor Walker!"