People do love the Bible. But not the Gospels. They quote Biblical stuff to me all the time, but it’s not ever stuff Jesus said.
— Letters from Kamp Krusty (via azspot)
I really enjoyed Stephen Mitchell’s The Gospel According To Jesus. The idea is that it contains what Jesus most likely said and did, according to historians applying standard academic research practices. It omits everything that was irrelevant, uncorroborated, unreliably reported, or hearsay.
The result is very short, dense, and remarkably consistent. You get a very clear picture of Jesus’ message without any of the religious baggage, theology, or supernatural occurrences (miracles, magical healings, etc. — most of which fell under “uncorroborated” or “unreliably reported”). So it’s a great way to learn what this man had to say 2,000 years ago, most of which is timeless and valuable, even if you don’t believe in the religion.
And when you look at what so many of the vocal outliers say or do in Jesus’ name today, it’s frequently contradictory to what Jesus actually said, taught, and did.