Jesus – ett problembarn?

  • Samuel Byrskog


This article poses a question that cannot be conclusively answered: was Jesus, the “superstar,” a problem as a child? Mk 3:20-21 and 6:2-3 indicate, when we read between the lines, that Jesus’s relationship to his father and neighbours in Nazareth was complex during his childhood. There exist various explanations to this complexity and how it affected Jesus as an adult. John W. Miller, a psychologist of religion, explains it by reference to the identity-crisis that usually occurs when a boy loses his beloved father and is thrust into a surrogate husband-father role. Andries G. van Aarde, a New Testament professor, holds the opinion that Jesus never adhered to a father during his childhood and envied the son-status of others to the extent that he established a socalled optative identity that incorporated a sense of being God’s legitimate child. John Capps, another psychologist of religion, criticizes both Miller and van Aarde and argues that Joseph rejected Jesus as his child and that it remained for “Abba” so to accept him. These three viewpoints concerning a seemingly irresolvable issue illustrate the tenuous character of historical research and challenges scholars and others to responsibly formulate hypotheses that dwell in between what we know and what we might know about Jesus and his childhood.