Finding the real Jesus

The December cover of Life magazine pictures the face of a bearded man with long, flowing hair. The eyes are kind, benevolent. Superimposed over the face is the question "WHO WAS HE?" A subheading continues: "Solving the mystery of Jesus and why it matters today."

Inside, the article's introduction observes that Jesus is portrayed by many people in many different ways, depending on the individual's personal faith and beliefs. Life points out that Jesus is considered by some to be the Son of God, by others as simply an inspired teacher, and by others a mythical figure invented specifically for political and religious purposes.

The main text of the article then follows with a series of observations that Life had elicited from people it describes as "eminent thinkers—including scholars, historians, theologians, clergy and an atheist." The magazine draws this conclusion: "Whether he lived or not, died on the cross or not, ascended or not, Jesus is alive in our time. To believers and nonbelievers alike, Jesus matters."

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Prayer and the search for healing
February 20, 1995

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