Yes, but... As much as the terminology seems to automatically draw flak, I *need* to see Jesus in the context of his day and time. If the phrase "historical Jesus" somehow evokes some quasi-political knee-jerk disengagement, I'm sorry but that is not my doing. The *fact* is, if Jesus was a real live person that drew breath and lived and loved and walked and talked, then he existed in a day and time and context that can be mostly comprehended. We might not be able to determine exactly what color hair he had or how long his beard was, but we can make some pretty good educated guesses about the real man versus the mythic man. Here's my drive to understand...the mythic man might indeed be a complete and total fabrication. Might be. In which case, why throw my lot in with Christians other than that is what I was born into? Why not be Jewish instead? Or even better, why not chuck it all and be an atheist? Just because there's a feel-good message of love everybody and peace and happiness and all will be well with the world and hereafter? I can get a variation of that anywhere in the major faiths of the world. In contrast, if Jesus was an actual living, breathing human that walked and taught, then what was he like? What were his surroundings? What molded and shaped his character and personality? What other factors played into this message he brought to the world? If G-d is real, G-d can handle being questioned. If Jesus is real, he too can handle a few questions. Thomas, the doubter, was not damned for doubting. Admonished maybe, but damned...no. It is too easy to see how Christianity underwent a drastic reformation at Nicea. I know that our beloved friend Thomas disagrees with me, but as I demonstrated in the Rome in transition thread, there were quite a few variances and re-interpretations that took place in the intervening years leading up to Nicea, and Nicea really sealed the deal as to...if I may be blunt...the Paganization (is that a word?) of Christianity. I want to see, understand and appreciate the Jesus that the 12 apostles knew and loved. I want the itinerant missionary Rabbi with a radically new interpretation of the Old Religion of G-d's chosen people. I want the simplistic beautiful naked truth...naked not for prurient interests...naked because of intimacy; naked and unashamed. A lot of this is easy to separate...Easter, Christmas, (how the hell did Halloween get into the mix?). Some points are a bit more difficult to differentiate...and of these the most crucial is the resurrection, IMO. If I were to be able to definitively demonstrate to my satisfaction that the resurrection was indeed a Pagan import, I would be inclined to convert to Judaism, the root core from which Jesus came. Or the Native American animism of some of my ancestors, which also speaks to my heart in its own subtle ways, which do not conflict with my Christian spirituality.