From the Editor
Since its formation in 2006, WikiProject Christianity has come a long way. A significant number of new articles have appeared on a wide range of topics, and the quality of some key articles has seen dramatic improvement. Yet, by the very nature of the open, crowd-sourced
development environment in which we operate, as the number of pages in the project has increased at times our attention has been naturally diluted. We should of course strive for quality everywhere, but we should remember that this newsletter is called Ichthus
Starting this month we will start a "Focus on" series, where we will try to "bring Jesus back" and focus on him. For five consecutive issues we will focus on one aspect of the study of Jesus. The goal of this series is to inform our members of what the project contains and highlight those articles which have reached quality and stability.
From this month until November we will focus on the historical Jesus, a topic which has been the subject of much discussion on article talk pages, as well as the general media. This is an important topic, and we have a good set of well referenced articles on that now. Then, starting in December we will focus on Christ, and the spiritual and theological elements that the title entails. Following that the review of the life and ministry of Jesus in the New Testament, his miracles, and parables will take place. And each month the "Bookshelf" will mention a book that fits the theme of the month.
We hope you will enjoy this journey as we present a new aspect of Jesus each month. And given that as the number of project pages increases, the ratio of those watching the pages declines, we hope that more of you will watch some of these central pages that help define this project.
Church of the month
The current building of All Saints' Church, Winthorpe in Nottinghamshire, England which was completed in 1888, is at least the third version of the church, which dates back to at least the early 13th century.
Good articles and DYKs
The article Jesus received the good article mark last month, as did Cleeve Abbey. A number of churches were featured on the main page in the DYK section in May, namely St. Lamberti, Hildesheim, Karja church, Braaby Church, St Patrick's Liverpool, Vlah Church, Freerslev Church, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Mata-Utu, St. Michael's Cathedral (Sitka, Alaska), St. Lamberti, Hildesheim, Karja church, Braaby Church, St. Pierre Cathedral, Saint-Pierre, Mont Saint Michel Abbey, St Patrick's Church, Liverpool, Vlah Church, St Catherine of Siena Church, Cocking, Catedral Nuestra Señora de La Asunción, Roholte Church, Notre Dame Cathedral, Taiohae, Leicester Abbey, Caracas Cathedral, Caldey Abbey, King's Mead Priory, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Hong Kong) andAll Saints' Church, Winthorpe, as well as the hymn What Wondrous Love Is This.
Did Jesus exist? Did he walk the streets of Jerusalem? The Historicity of Jesus article answers these questions with a firm affirmative. Historicity does not discuss if Jesus walked on water, but if he walked at all. The issue was the subject of scholarly debate before the end of last century, but the academic debate is almost over now. As the article discusses, virtually all academic opposition to the existence of Jesus has evaporated away now and scholars see it as a concluded issue. The discussion is now just among mostly self-published non-academics.
In 2011 John Dickson tweeted that if anyone finds a professor of history who denies that Jesus lived,he would eat a page of his Bible (Matthew 1 he said). Dickson's Bible is still safe.
The article discusses the ancient sources that relate to Jesus and how they fit together to establish that he existed. The evidence for Jesus is not just based on the Christian gospels, but by inter-relating them with non-Christian sources, and the fact that they all "fit together". Moreover, the existence of Jesus is not supported just by Christian scholars and in recent years the detailed knowledge of Jewish scholars and their discoveries (e.g. Shlomo Pines' discovery of the Syriac Josephus) has proven highly beneficial. We encourage you to read and follow the article, for the existence of Jesus is central to the existence of Christianity.
From the bookshelf
Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence
by Robert Van Voorst, 2000 ISBN 0-8028-4368-9
Just a few years after its publication, Van Voorst's book has become the standard comprehensive text for the discussion of ancient sources that relate to Jesus and his historicity. This detailed yet really readable book has received wide ranging endorsements - Blomberg and Harris separately referring to it as the most comprehensive treatment of the subject.
Did you know...
- ... that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the initials "S. D. G.", for Soli Deo Gloria, at the beginning and end of all his church compositions to give God credit for the work, and that Handel at times did the same?