Five Mysteries Concerning Jesus Christ (Part 1)

This year’s resignation of Pope Benedict reignited the long-time debate over its problems such as female ordination, contraception, divorce, women’s rights in the broadest sense, and so on. The reformation of the church has been a frustrating issue, which has been impeded by debate. How should the Roman Catholic Church approach their issues?

Pope Francis apparently wants to accentuate spirituality. He fears the Roman Catholic Church might face the risk of becoming a “compassionate NGO” if he doesn’t emphasize the soul. These problems could also be solved if the church took into account the spiritual truth of Jesus Christ. In the following article, we will explore the “five mysteries” or Jesus’ life in pursuit of the truth.

 

“Faithful to the Bible” vs. “The Non-Biblical Jesus”

The novel The Da Vinci Code (by Dan Brown), published in the U.S. in March 2003 remains popular enough to be a worldwide bestseller.

It’s a mystery novel where a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris is the starting point to uncovering the face of “the true Jesus”, who is different from the one depicted in the Bible.

The key that unlocks that secret is a fresco by the Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, “The Last Supper”. The person seated on Jesus’ right is widely believed to be John, but it turns out that it is in fact Mary Magdalene and, what’s more, that she is Jesus’ wife.

 

“Jesus’ Wife” Is a Huge Controversy.

The issue is that the author Dan Brown “declared” in the preface “the descriptions in this novel of works of art, buildings, writings, and secret ceremonies are all based on reality”.

The Christian churches in America, who had raved about the movie “The Passion of the Christ” and even played a role in promoting it, could not be silent in the face of the novel’s success. They raged against it as “a flagrant attack on Christian orthodoxy”, and this was followed by a series of counter-attacks on websites and the publishing of rebuttals.

 

Re-Questioning the Nature of Jesus Rocks The 2000-year History of Christianity

The reason why such a huge controversy arose is that the life of Jesus is shrouded in mystery. The Bible records Jesus’ history from the time he was 30, and covers the three years during which he preached the gospel, was crucified, and was resurrected as the Messiah. However, almost nothing is made clear other than that.

This is because when the Bible was compiled in the 4th century A.D., out of the thousands of documents recording Jesus’ life only the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were used, and the rest were banned as “heresy”.

However, the 20th century saw a series of discoveries, such as the Nag Hammadi library (see note 1) which included such heretical gospels, and research proceeded which gradually shed light on “a Jesus not written about in the Bible” (see note 2). As a result, a desire to find out about the real Jesus spread throughout the world and “The Da Vinci Code”, which boldly included such assertions, gained a wide readership.

Which is “true”: the Jesus shown in “The Passion of the Christ”, a depiction that is faithful to the Bible or the non-biblical Jesus described in works such as The Da Vinci Code?

The Christian Church holds that any Jesus other than the biblical one is inconceivable so, if the latter one is true, it is a tremendous problem that strikes at the very roots of Christianity.

In the sense that a trend has been spreading throughout the world of re-questioning the nature of Jesus, this has become a major incident that will continue to rock the 2000-year history of Christianity.
Therefore, we decided to research the mysteries of Jesus’ life, a subject that the people of the today’s world want to know more about.

Note 1: A collection of ancient writings from around the 3rd and 4th centuries, discovered at Nag Hammadi, an Egyptian settlement on the upper reaches of the Nile. (Photo on the right) It contains documents such as the Gospel of Thomas.
Note 2: These include “The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus” (by Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh), “The Templar Revelation” (by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince) and “The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail” (by Margaret Starbird, not translated into Japanese).
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Five Mysteries Concerning Jesus Christ (Part 1)
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