Explain chapter 1 of The Jesus I Never Knew.

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The popular Christian book The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey attempts to explain the life, accomplishments, and impact of Jesus in a simple way that readers can easily understand and relate to. Chapter 1 of the book is titled "The Jesus I Thought I Knew."

Yancey starts by...

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The popular Christian book The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey attempts to explain the life, accomplishments, and impact of Jesus in a simple way that readers can easily understand and relate to. Chapter 1 of the book is titled "The Jesus I Thought I Knew."

Yancey starts by explaining the common conception of Jesus that he and many other Christians received in Sunday school. In most paintings and illustrations, Jesus is pictured as handsome, white, and shining with benevolent light. Later in a Bible college, Yancey and other students learned of a more cosmic Jesus that is the focal point of the world. Even so, his teachers urged students to develop a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ." Instead, says Yancey, Jesus became more remote for him in that part of his life. Still later, as the worship of Jesus became popular during the hippy movement, Yancey saw the hypocrisy of Bible school administrators who forbade long hair and beards, whereas Jesus himself is always pictured as having long hair and a beard.

In 1971, writes Yancey, he saw the film The Gospel According to St. Matthew, which depicts Jesus as a man of power, a revolutionary, and a troublemaker; in other words, he was a person "who would have been kicked out of Bible colleges and rejected by most churches." Yancey, at the time a young journalist, was forced to reevaluate what Jesus meant to him personally.

Yancey then emphasizes the importance of Jesus in modern culture. The calendar is split in half according to his birth date. People use his name as a curse word. His historical impact is immense. Still, Yancey explains that he is writing the book not because Jesus is famous but rather to explore his own doubts. It is difficult to have faith in someone you cannot directly see. To complicate the picture, everyone who approaches Jesus sees him from their own unique perspective and the perspective of their culture. This makes answering the question of "Who was Jesus?" extremely difficult.

To write this book, Yancey studied countless books about Jesus in libraries and watched a vast collection of films based on Jesus' life. However, he writes that "the more I studied Jesus, the more difficult it became to pigeon-hole him." He adds:

Jesus was a human being, a Jew in Galilee with a name and a family, a person who was in a way just like everyone else. Yet in another way he was something different than anyone who had ever lived on earth before.

To sum up, Yancey uses the first chapter of The Jesus I Never Knew to introduce readers to what he is going to do in the rest of the book. His intention is to explore the life of Jesus from the perspective of the doubts that trouble him as well as the viewpoints of those who in the past have attempted to explain him.

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