Portraits of Christ Bible Study 

Monday, February 14, 2022, 10:00 am to Monday, March 28, 2022, 12:00 pm
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Imagine viewing a museum exhibition of hundreds of portraits of Christ down through the ages. Jesus is depicted variously as a humble shepherd, a Byzantine Emperor, or even a slain Lamb. Although Jesus was, in fact, none of these in any historical sense, each of the museum portraits would nevertheless communicate something truthful about his identity as the "Good Shepherd," "Christ the King," or the "Lamb of God."

What then, if we were to read the four gospels much like these portraits, each consisting of unique "literary brushstrokes" that communicate something truthful about Jesus even if, at times, at the expense of historical detail?  Were Jesus' last words from the Cross, "My God, why have you forsaken me!" as Mark and Matthew tell us? Or did he cry out, "Into your hands I commend my spirit!" as Luke indicates. It could not have been both. When we misread the gospels as objective history, these discrepancies become unnecessarily problematic. But when we interpret them as literary portraits of Christ -- history told through the theological lens of each Evangelist -- apparent contradictions are appreciated as artistic 'brushstrokes' intended to reveal the deepest truths about Jesus of Nazareth which history alone could never convey.

​Especially designed for contemplatives, this first series of classes begins a rich, meditative, and intellectually stimulating exploration of the four gospels and the tools that help us to interpret them in ways that ground the life and practice of contemplative Christians today.

The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, PhD is Professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Mysticism in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco. As an Episcopal priest, Fr. Vincent serves as Vicar of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church and Retreat House in Inverness, California. Working for the advancement of contemplative Christianity, he has reinvigorated the mission and ministry of St. Columba’s through the introduction of contemplative eucharistic liturgies, public lectures, online courses, directed retreats, thought provoking sermons, an online blog and a weekly online study of his book through the Meditation Chapel. Entitled Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life, his book seeks to bring his readers into a lived realization of the Christian doctrine of deification – that is, the affirmation that through the Incarnation, we have all be made partakers of the Divine Nature.

When: Mondays February 14 through March 28 from 10 am - 2 pm Pacific Time
Where: Online via Zoom
Cost: $150 and scholarships available, no one will be turned away for lack of funds