One cannot separate Jesus from the Christ or speak of a ‘Jesus of history’ who would differ from the ‘Christ of faith’… Christ is none other than Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus did not leave behind Him a body of teaching that could be separated from His “I”, as one can collect and evaluate the ideas of great thinkers without going into the personalities of the thinkers themselves. Jesus did not perform a work that could be distinguished from His “I.” On the contrary to understand Him as the Christ means to be convinced He has put Himself into His word. There is no “I” that utters words: He has identified Himself so closely with His word that “I” and word are indistinguishable.
Without the words and deeds of Jesus we have no Jesus; and if no Jesus, we have no Lord, no Savior, no Christ. A christ not fully identified with the Jesus of history, his words and deeds, is to that extent a humanly created substanceless myth. Regardless how much such a christ is adored, glorified and propagated such a christ is not Jesus, the Christ. Such a christ may generated great hype and hope, but it is objectively as hopeless as any other god or image of god made by human hands. The Christ Jesus of history encountered in the Gospels is a Nonviolent Christ, a Nonviolent Messiah, who teaches in history a Way of Nonviolent Love of all in all circumstances, including lethal enemies. It is in the Nonviolent Christ who is the Nonviolent Jesus of history—and to no other christ—that Christians are called to place their faith, hope and love. However, it is the dark genius of so many of the Churches who morally justify Christian participation in violence and enmity—and of the ecclesiastics who run these Churches and foster such moral perceptions—that they have successfully brainwashed untold numbers of people into placing their faith, life and hope in a christ other than the one whose “I” and word are indistinguishable in the Gospels. A christ of faith severed from the words of the Jesus of history is an unreality. A Jesus of history severed from His words is equally an unreality. Placing one’s hope in an unreality is hopeless—and it is irrational when one has the Real Deal right in front of him or her.