Troubles with Jesi

If I’d said Jesi, my father would have said, Mind your language son.

Let me explain. Jesi is an ostensible plural for Jesus. Saying Jesus unless praying to him or praying about him to God the Father or talking about him with a potential convert amounted to saying the Lord’s name in vain. Doing this repeatedly (in pluralis) would be tantamount to the Unpardonable. I would have been in trouble, trouble that I don’t even like to talk about today.

Today I have other troubles with Jesi. It’s not at all that I have trouble with the troublesome fact that Jesus is white to some many while some other color to some other Othered few. Way back in March 2013, a blogger named Joel was asking this parenthetically,

Although I have to agree, that maybe we are done with white Jesuses (or is it Jesi?)

This one Joel was confessing that he was having to agree with a blogger named Rod, and I am reading along as if I’m the only me reading this and this is the only Rod and that is the only Joel in the world asking the question, or is it Jesi?, as if there is more than one to talk about.

Today I have other troubles with Jesi. It’s not at all that I have trouble with the troublesome historical Jesus quest. A little later, in later April 2013, there was this blogpost:

Jesus’ Remains: Teaching Multiple Jesi
Posted on April 19, 2013 by mattsheedy by Kate Daley-Bailey

And then there was this trouble in the bible blogosphere:

Within that religion of authenticity, there certainly exists a wide diversity of Jesuses. Having just posted on the futility of traditional historical Jesus research, I find this point well worth underlining. Thanks, Kate!

and this one:

The diverse conclusions drawn by researchers investigating the historical figure of Jesus is, at worst, an indication that historical methods do not successfully counter our penchant for making Jesus as we desire him to be. Diverse Jesuses (or Jesi, as Kate Dailey-Bailey prefers) are to be found as far back as we have literature about Jesus. And we could say the same about Socrates.

and that one:

Then McCullough mentions in “Jesus: All Things to All People” a recent blog post by Kate Daley-Bailey titled “Jesus’ Remains: Teaching Multiple Jesi” where it is observed that “…our job…is not to magically distill the ‘real’ Jesus from the swill of theology and political packaging, but rather to highlight the nuanced processes of constructing ‘Jesi’ and query the discursive strategies deployed to flesh out the impoverished Jesus.” In other words, most historical Jesus scholars do not find the “real Jesus” they seek, but rather create another Jesus for all to consider, so a more fruitful approach is the embrace the reality we won’t find the ‘real’ Jesus by becomign aquainted with the multiple depictions of Jesus (she calls them “Jesi”) available to us.

James McGrath challenges this pessimism in “Is Historical Jesus Studies Futile?”

Do I get that? One mattsheedy and one Kate Daley-Bailey and one [Pat] McCullough and one James McGrath and one Brian LePort talking about the same thing. Or is it the same things? Is it one Jesuses or two? Is it one plural? Two too? Is it Jesi?

Once elsewhere at an Other blog I posted this one post. I entitled it The Prostitute. And I talked about Rahab in it. And I talked in it about the one name Joshua. And I talked about it in Hebrew (יְהוֹשׁוּעַ).

But I don’t think I talked about it in Greek (Ἰησοῦς). There are many of them, I might have said. The plural of course is Ιησουοι? But is this Joshuas or Joshi? Jesuses? Jesi? Greek or Latin? You see my troubles? (Not a white man sang, once upon a time in some historical moment, Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen Nobody knows but Jesus.)


One response to “Troubles with Jesi

  1. Pingback: Troubles with Syllabi | BLT

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