Jesus and the Bible
Unitarians hold Jesus in high regard. Generally speaking, they think of him:
- As a teacher from the Jewish tradition, whose central message was the call to love.
- As a powerful example of integrity, courage and compassionate living.
- As fully and unequivocally human.
- As divine only in the sense that his life and work revealed - or came to symbolise - the divinity and high potential inherent in everyone.
Unitarians see Jesus as a major figure - for some, the central figure - in humanity's spiritual journey. Most would, therefore, honour - but not worship - him accordingly.
The Bible is valued by most Unitarians as:
- The human record of a people's long struggle to understand their origins, their destiny and their God.
- A deep fund of wisdom and insight deserving both attention and respect.
Unitarians do not regard the bible as an unquestionable authority. They believe it should be read in the light of reason, informed by the insights of biblical criticism and scholarship. When they accept something in the Bible as true, they do so because it rings true in their own humble reflection upon it - not simply because it is in the Bible. Bible extracts may be incorporated in Unitarian worship, as may readings from any sacred or "secular" literature or poetry which is felt to be appropriate and relevant.