The Pre- and Post-Easter Jesus
Understanding and knowing Jesus involves history, tradition, and experience.
~ Marcus Borg
The pre-Easter Jesus means:
- The historical Jesus
- Jesus of Nazareth
- A first century Galilean Jew
- A figure of the past
The post-Easter Jesus means:
What Jesus became after his death, the Jesus of Christian experience and tradition.
In Christian experience people continue to experience Jesus as a living reality, as a figure of the present; as a spiritual living divine reality
In Christian tradition: Jesus is increasingly spoken of as a divine reality and eventually seen as “very God of very God.”
It is crucial to make this distinction, says Borg, or Jesus becomes unreal, incredible and inaccessible.
Compare pre- and post-Easter Jesus
|Pre-Easter Jesus||Post-Easter Jesus|
|4 B.C.E. to 30 C.E.||30 C.E. to present|
|Corporeal, human being of flesh and blood||Spiritual, non-material reality|
|Finite and mortal||Infinite, eternal|
|A Jewish peasant||King of Kings and Lord of Lords|
|Figure of the past||Figure of the present|
|Jesus of Nazareth||Jesus Christ|
|Monotheistic Jew||Becomes the second person of the trinity, “God with a human face”|
|Galilean Jew of the first century||“The Face of God” (metaphor based on 2 Cor. 4:6 Beholding the glory of God in the face of Christ)|
Three summaries of the pre-Easter Jesus