The Faith of Jesus
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

The Faith of Jesus

Last essay, I offered some thoughts on the faith of Paul, and this essay I will consider the faith of Jesus. Though I think there are significant differences between the nature of Paul’s faith and that of Jesus, there are good reasons to conclude that Paul encouraged followers to have “the faith of Christ.” In the epistles that scholars generally agree were written by Paul (several epistles attributed to Paul were likely written by people who sought to gain wider currency for their ideas by attributing the letters to Paul), he often talked about having what translators have interpreted as “faith in Christ.” However, the Greek could also be understood as “faith of Christ,” and in chapter 6 of my book Guided by the Faith of Christ I give reasons to favor the latter translation.   It is not easy to discern the faith of Christ, and a good scholar of Christianity could write a book exploring the topic. The biblical account describes Jesus as deeply faithful, even choosing to die painfully on the cross in order to abide by God’s will. The Bible validates this faith by describing Jesus as then resurrected, demonstrating God’s love for and commitment to the Son.   Jesus trusted in God, and indeed the Bible describes how God empowered Jesus to perform miracles. However, it appears that Jesus’ trust in God was challenged, because Jesus cried from the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Finally, Jesus confirmed his faith in God, saying, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).   Let us now consider the present, 2000 years after these events. Scholars have raised serious doubts about the historical accuracy of the biblical accounts, yet the Bible is our only detailed account of Jesus’ life and teachings. Is Christian faith akin to groundless superstition, or are there good reasons to follow Christ?

I will explore this question next essay.  

Go on to: Is Christian Faith Reasonable?
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