A Matter of Perspective

S M Chen
6 min readJul 11, 2020

“Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light.”

  • Dan Brown (1964 -), American novelist

This was probably not written as appears below.

If there were such a document, we have not found it.

But it was likely in the minds of certain religious leaders, even if the actual words did not flow from their pens.

A thin line separates thought from action.

That line may be crossed with ease.

In the matter of inspiration, the voice that whispers may be good, but it may also be something else. It has ever been thus, since Eden.

If there had been a newspaper in Judea around 33 A.D., and it permitted submissions, it might have run an op-ed thusly:

This is Caiaphas writing.

I was elected your high priest.

My colleague, Annas, appointed some years before me, and I share concern, which we want to alert you to. This is a matter of some urgency.

There is a certain man, a Jesus of Nazareth, who troubles us.

The matter and manner of his birth is uncertain.

Adoration of the shepherds. Gerard van Honthorst. 1622. Pixabay

He was born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. Joseph is somewhat older, and it is unclear whether he, or someone else, is the father. If someone else, that person has never come forward. So the circumstances of his birth remain murky. Some claim he is a bastard. This charge we feel is a bit strong, but we do not discount that possibility.

Sometime after his birth, the family moved to Egypt. They then returned to Judea and settled in Nazareth, a place remarkable for producing unremarkable people (as the saying goes, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ This, by the way, didn’t originate with us).

Joseph had a carpentry shop, and he and Mary had other children after Jesus.

Jesus worked as a carpenter, like his father.

All would have been fine had that been all.

Carpenters are a denarius a dozen.

But no, in his 30th year, he left Nazareth and began going about the country, preaching, teaching and healing.