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Harvard Theologian Discusses “Scandalous” New Take on Jesus

Harvard professor and pastor Peter Gomes recently published a book re-evaluating Jesus's life and teachings. The NewsHour talks to Gomes about his different take on the founder of Christianity.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    As millions of Americans celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth this holiday season, an old debate continues over how literally to read the Bible and how to incorporate 1st-century teachings into a 21st-century life.

    In his new book, "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus," the Reverend Peter Gomes proposes a re-acquaintance with a message as challenging as it is comforting. Peter Gomes is an American Baptist minister, a professor of Christian morals, and minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard University.

    And welcome to the program.

    REV. PETER GOMES, Author, "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus": Thank you.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Why "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus"? This is a person who's held up as a moral yardstick. What's so scandalous about that?

  • PETER GOMES:

    Well, I'm afraid my publicist thought that the word "scandal" would attract attention, which clearly it has. The scandal is the fact that we seem to pay so little attention to the content of Jesus' teaching and a great deal of attention to Jesus.

    So I am proposing here that we might, in fact, look at what Jesus says, rather than who it is that says it, and that might be exciting, and we might find something, by our modern standards, which is rather scandalous.

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