D More than a Prophet

There are several hints that Jesus may have seen his mission in terms transcending the category of prophet. It is difficult to gain a firm handle on the point, since the Evangelists themselves evidently did not regard the category of prophet as adequate for Jesus, as we see most clearly in Luke 24.19-27 and John 6.30-33, 49-51. But possibly they were building on hints within the tradition itself. The most obvious of these are as follows (1) Use of Isa. 61.1-3 may imply a claim to be not just...

H Kenneth Bailey

What has been missing in all this has been a sufficiently close parallel to the oral traditioning which presumably was the initial mode of and vehicle for the Jesus 170. Foley, Immanent Art chs. 1 and 2 (particularly 6-13 and 42-45 quotations from 7 and 40-41). The argument is developed in Singer of Tales in Performance chs. 1-3. 171. Foley, Immanent Art 44, 47-48. He can even argue that the responsibility of the 'reader' of an oral traditional text is 'to attempt to become as far as possible...

Doer of Extraordinary Deeds

Where do the traditions regarding Jesus' miracles into all this They form a major part of the Jesus tradition, and prior to the Enlightenment's problematizing the very category of 'miracle' they constituted weighty proof that Jesus was from (or of) God ( 4.2). Since then the probative value (and therefore the market value) of these traditions has fallen through the floor, and it has not recovered much in recent years. But the records of Jesus 'mighty works' are too important a feature of the...

EThe Cleansing of the Temple

The cleansing of the Temple points in a similar direction. We can rule out the suggestion that Jesus attempted a military coup, intended presumablv to seize the vacant throne of Herod the Great. That leaves us with a prophetic protest which acknowledged the centralitv of the Temple for God's dealings with Israel, but also enacted some kind of aspirations for the Temple (or a new temple) to fulfil its eschatological role. Again the lack of reference to the episode in Jesus' trial (unless it is...

B Does the Conceptualization of the Resurrection Body Bring Any Clarification

I suggested that a somewhat complex development in early Christian conceptualization of Jesus' resurrection is discernible. The basic line of the analysis still seems sound.203 (1) The initial conceptualization of 'resurrection' was most likely in quite physical terms not so much a resuscitation (to a life later to be ended in death) as a raising (restoration ) to a life just like the present (that is. physical) life but now beyond the reach of death. That is what we...

E Historically Effected Consciousness

Worth particular mention, because of its influence within contemporary herme-neutics as they have impacted on biblical criticism,84 is Gadamer's concept of Wirkungsgeschichte, the 'history of effect' of a text. Here the hermeneutical circle is correlated with the older hermeneutical recognition of hermeneutics as the interplay between the polarities of familiarity and strangeness. The point is that the gap between text and reader is not empty it is filled by the effect which the text has...

A What Is the Historical Jesus

The Enlightenment ideal of historical objectivity also projected a false goal onto the quest of the historical Jesus. For from its inception, questers have made the assumption that behind the text of the Gospels, behind the traditions which they incorporate, there is a 'historical Jesus', an objective historical datum who will be different from the dogmatic Christ or from the Jesus of the Gospels and who will enable us to criticize the dogmatic Christ and the Jesus of the Gospels.95 An...

A Resurrection as Interpretation

To return to the starting point of this chapter in what sense, if any, can we speak of the resurrection of Jesus as historical In terms of the distinction made earlier be Kerygma and the Historical Jesus', in C. E. Braaten and R. A. Harrisville, eds., The Historical Jesus and theKe gmatic Christ Nashville Abingdon, 1964 15-42 here 42 ). Schillebeeckx attempts to discern an 'Easter experience' of conversion, 'of grace as forgiveness', which was independent of and prior to the appearances and...

To the Poor

Of all the prophecies which may have influenced Jesus, Isa. 61.1 stands out 'The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me he has sent me to bring good news to the poor Its influence is evident in the allusions to Isaianic prophecies in the reply to the Baptist's query (Matt. 11.5 Luke 7.22).132 And the opening sequence of beatitudes (Matt. 5.3-6 Luke 6.20b-21) seems to have been framed with Isa. 61.1-3 (7) in mind.133 So even if

A The Connotation of Basileia

It has always been clear from lexicography that all the key terms had a breadth of meaning Greek (basileia), early Hebrew (mamlaka), postexilic Hebrew and Aramaic (malkut). Without putting too fine a point on it, they all denoted 'kingship' in its various aspects, particularly the exercise of kingship, hence 'reign', and the territory ruled over, hence 'kingdom'.27 This insight proved helpful to a European scholarship struggling to come to terms with late-nineteenth-century imperialism and...

B But What Actually Happened

It is all very well identifying the import of the tradition as it has come down to us. But how did the tradition reach its present form In one degree or other, most specialists who have studied the passage have followed the line marked out by Strauss here we have a classic example of the 'historical myth'.169 That is to say, there is no reason to doubt that Jesus was actually baptized by John but the account of the heaven(s) being opened, the Spirit descending as a dove, and the heavenly voice,...

C A Grand Narrative

One solution to the riddle has been to read the Jesus tradition as a whole within an overarching hypothesis, a meta-narrative. Indeed, many would say that without such a grid into which to the data, the evidence is capable of too many divergent readings. Halvor Moxnes reminds us that Protestants were for a long time attracted by the master narrative of a decline from the age of spirit and freedom to the age of institutions and control ('early Catholicism' as a negative description).402 And as...

G The Parables of Crisis

In the material reviewed thus far, the emphasis on the kingdom as 'near' is a strong feature only of the first block. But the emphasis is strengthened by what Dodd called the 'parables of crisis'.244 Only one is explicitly introduced as a kingdom parable, but since they are so similar in emphasis, that might be inconsequential when the theme was so common, the reference to the kingdom might well have been taken for granted. Four parables are in view the waiting slaves (Mark 13.34-36 similarly...

E Divorce

The other episode in Mark of direct relevance to us at this point is Jesus' teaching on divorce Mark 10.2-12 Matt. 19.3-9 3 Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him thev said. 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his 2 Some Pharisees came, and asked him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his not read that the one who made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said. For this reason a man shall leave his father thus testing him. 3 He answered them, 'What did Moses command you '...

Info

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, 'Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you'. And he said to them, 'Go and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless I must (dei me) go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem'. Although the saying is certainly in service to Luke's Christology,215 the introduction to it has...

A Our Sources for Johns Preaching

The tenor of John's message is probably clearest in the Q tradition of Matt. 3.7-12 Luke 3.7-9, 16-17.110 7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, 'You brood of vipers Who warned vou to flee 7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, 'You brood of vipers Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come 8 Bear fruit worthy of from the wrath to come 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. 9 Do not presume to say to yourselves. We have...

C Service

In the Gospel tradition Jesus is also presented as the model of service Mark 10.41-45 pars.77 In Mark, closely followed by Matt. 20.20-28, the teaching is Jesus' response to a request for on behalf of James and John that they should be granted to sit on Jesus' right and left 'in your kingdom glory' (Matt. 20.21 Mark 10.37). We need consider here only the closing section, where Matthew (20.2428) follows Mark almost word for word 41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and...

A The Conversion of Saul

The first example comes not from the Synoptics themselves, but from Luke's second volume, Acts. All that is necessary for the example to be relevant for an inquiry into Jesus tradition is the assumption that Luke handled such a tradition in Acts in the same way that he handled traditions in his The value of the example is threefold, (i) The three accounts (Acts 9.1-22 22.1-21 26.9-23) all come from a single author (Luke), so we avoid some of the unknowns opera- The three accounts of Paul's...

An Outline of the Life and Mission of Jesus

It will be convenient to sketch an outline of Jesus' life and mission in the light of what we have learnt in chapter 9 before trying to in the outline in subsequent chapters. References in the Gospels to Herod the Great (37-4 BCE), to Herod Antipas (4 BCE-39 CE) and to the Roman prefect of Judea, Pilate (26-37 CE), enable us to locate Jesus and his mission with a fair degree of accuracy. Precision is not possible, but neither is it necessary. The key references are few, but consistent. Jesus...

A Galilean Synagogues Assemblies

The Gospels refer a number of times to synagogai,216 and particularly speak of Jesus quite regularly teaching preaching in Galilean synagogai.211 In every case the term is usually translated, not surprisingly, as 'synagogues'. But here again the translation rests on a number of unexamined assumptions particularly that there were buildings ('synagogues') at the time of Jesus which were dedicated places of worship, for Torah reading and prayer. A common linked assumption is that the synagogue was...

Open Fellowship

I have left this characteristic of discipleship to the last, not because it is of lesser importance than the rest, but because it sums up much that was both characteristic and distinctive of the social self-understanding that Jesus encouraged in his disciples. Two features in particular stand out table-fellowship and absence of boundaries. Thev overlap, but it is worth attempting to give them separate treatment. Jesus' practice of eating in companv was clearlv a regular and important feature of...

B Toll Collectors

That Jesus was to be found in the company of toll-collectors is a consis tent element in the criticism recalled against him.209 Both Matthew and Luke re 204. Cf. the elder brother's reference to his errant brother as 'this son of yours' rather than 'my brother', and the father's gentle rebuke 'this your brother' (Luke 15.30, 32). 205. Hence the title of the equivalent chapter in my Jesus' Call to Discipleship ch. 4 'The Boundary Breaker'. 206. 'It is surprising how often the sayings of Jesus...

Why Not Stop Here

In Bach's B Minor Mass the solemn, slow-moving chorus is fol lowed at once by the joyous allegro, 'Et Resurrexit'. Which is what one might expect in Christian worship. But in a historical study of Jesus should we follow suit After all, on pretty well any definition, 'resurrection' moves beyond history, at least in the sense of 'that which can be observed by historical method'.1 Death is, almost by definition, departure from the time-space continuum, the only arena in which any historical method...

C The Passion Predictions

The most controversial evidence to be considered is the three statements attributed to Jesus in many ways the most interesting of the Son of Man sayings, left aside earlier as most appropriately considered at this point. From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief he began to teach them that the Son of Man must ereat suffering, and be rejected bv the and the chief 22 saying that 'The Son of...

A Judaism

What then is 'Judaism' When did 'Judaism' begin If the answers were to depend solely on word occurrence in our literary sources, the answers would be clear. For the Greek term first appears in literature in 2 Maccabees, in three passages 2.21 8.1 and 14.38. 2.21 describes the Maccabean rebels as 'those who fought bravely for Judaism' (hyper tou Ioudaismou) 8.1 their supporters as 'those who had continued in Judaism' (tons memenekotas en to loudaismo) and 14.38 the martyr Razis as one who had...

Children of the Father

Jesus' call for repentance corresponded to his kingdom preaching to repent was to acknowledge previous failure to obey as a subject of the King should. In a similar way Jesus' teaching on God as Father corresponded to his call for belief and trust. This brings us to one of the most striking features of Jesus' teaching. For whereas Jesus is remembered as saying little or nothing explicitly about God as King, the memory of Jesus' teaching on God as Father is deeply embedded in the Jesus...

A Mark 122831 pars

35 one of them Pharisees , a lawver, asked him a question to test him. 36 'Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest ' 37 him, 28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, commandment is the first of all ' 29 Jesus answered, 'The first is, Hear, Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one 30 and vou shall love the Lord vour 25 Just then a lawver stood up to test him, saving, 'Teacher, what must I do to...

C The Priority of Plain Meaning

If we take seriously the fact that the NT texts are historical texts, it follows that the old case for historical philology and the principle of plain meaning can still demand respect. To be sure, plain meaning as appealed to by such as Calvin was not always the literal or verbal sense tout simple, but a meaning determined in part by Calvin's faith, by the rule of faith 'plain' to those who shared Calvin's faith. 'Plain meaning' as it has operated in practice is already in some measure a...

C What Kind of Seeing

If 'resurrection' and 'resurrection body' are problematic for conceptualization, no less is the character of the 'seeing' of the resurrected Jesus.210 (1) In the case of the sightings where the physicality of Jesus' presence is either assumed or stressed, the implication is of a normal seeing, as one would see a companion on the road or in the same room. Yet, at the same time, we have noted the persistent theme that Jesus was not at first recognized, and that 'some doubted' (above 18.4b). There...

HThe Trial of Jesus

The trial of Jesus. however. provides more answers. The interest again centres on Jesus' response to the questions put to him by both Caiaphas and Pilate. What is of particular interest is the ambivalence of the reply in all but one version. 63 And the High Priest said to him, 'I adjure you by the living God that vou tell us if vou are the Christ, the son of God. Again the High Priest asked him and says to him, the Christ, the son of the Blessed ' 62 But Jesus said, 'I am'. 67 . . . saying, 'If...

How Should the Kingdom of God Be Understood

The conclusion just reached is clear and beyond dispute. But if talk of the kingdom was so distinctive of Jesus' preaching, how would it have been understood by his first hearers In the case of a creative person such as Jesus evidently was we must always allow the possibility that distinctive emphases emerged from his own insight or inspiration. But even so we also must assume some context of meaning for his talk of 'the kingdom of God', since otherwise it would have been a meaningless term for...

The Dispute about Greatness

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, Who is greater in the kingdom of heaven 2 He called a little and put it among them, 3 and said, Truly 1 you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like 33 Then they came to Capernaum and when he was in the house he asked them, What were you arguing about on the way 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was greater. 35...

To Sinners

The Synoptic tradition contains only a few sayings of Jesus in which he articulates a specific sense of personal commission. We have already noted two of these. One comes in Matthew's elaboration of Jesus' response to the Syrophoenician woman T was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel' ( 13.3).177 Another in Luke's elaboration of Jesus' preaching in Nazareth 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor ' ( 13.4). But the saying...

The Synoptic Tradition as Oral Tradition Teachings

I choose the term 'teachings' rather than 'sayings', since the latter is too casual. It allows, possibly even fosters the impression of serendipity sayings of Jesus casually overheard and casually recalled, as one today might recall impressions of one's school or college days in a class reunion thirty years later. But as we have already noted ( 8.1b), Jesus was known as a teacher, and the disciples understood themselves as just that, 'disciples' 'learners' (mathetai). The recollection of Jesus'...

A Baptism by John or Anointing with Spirit

It is hardly surprising that the episode in view is usually designated 'the baptism of Jesus by John'. But that is something of a misnomer. The fact is that in varying degrees the Evangelists all direct the hearer's reader's attention beyond the baptism itself to what happened when Jesus emerged from the river the descent of the Spirit and the heavenly voice. Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. . . . And when Jesus had been immediatelv he came up from the...

Jesus Tempted

The Synoptic accounts follow Jesus' anointing at Jordan 'immediately' (Mark 1.12) with the account of his being tempted in the wilderness for forty days (Matt. 4.1 Luke 4.1). It can be judged quite likely that Jesus did spend some time in the desert at the beginning of his mission.186 Such a recoil for prayer and reflection is entirely to be expected. The traditions of Moses and Elijah fasting forty days (in connection with a direct revelation from God)187 would not only have shaped the later...

Forgiving as Forgiven

A further mark of the love for which Jesus called is the readiness to forgive. Characteristic of the discipleship to which Jesus called was the two-sided theme of forgiven as forgiving, forgiven therefore forgiving. The importance of this two-sidedness of forgiveness is alreadv clear in the Lord's Praver 'Forgive (aphes) us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors' (Matt. 6.12) 'Forgive (aphes) us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone indebted to us' (Luke And Matthew...

Living in the Light of the Coming Kingdom

The tradition reviewed in the last two chapters could be sliced, tweaked, and expanded in manv wavs. But enough has been said to give us a fair idea of the 292. Mark 9.33-37 pars. 10.35-45 pars. 'There is no suggestion of the twelve functioning as priests to others' laitv' (Dunn, Jesus' Call to Discipleship 106). In Matthew the authority given to Peter to 'bind and loose' in Matt. 16.19 is given to 'the disciples' 'the church' (18.18). Matthew also includes an explicit warning against anv...

Hearing Jesus

The first of these subset questions (For whom did Jesus intend his message ), like the others, poses an immediate challenge. For our approach throughout has stressed the impossibility of our getting back to Jesus himself. All we have in the Jesus tradition is the deposit of how he was heard by those who responded positively to his message (Jesus remembered). Our opening question, therefore, is unavoidably transposed into How was Jesus' intention heard by those who followed him Which also means...

G The Diversity of Faith

Another aspect of postmodern criticism should not be ignored, namely the pluralism endemic to the recognition that readers respond differently to texts and so produce multiple meanings. Applied to the beginnings of the Jesus tradition, that insight reminds us that Jesus would have impacted variously on different individ-uals.118 Or in terms of the present discussion, there would have been diversity of faith from the very first.119 That is not, or should not be, a problem. For the evidence of...

B Absence of Boundaries

The point emerging above highlights a remarkable feature of the discipleship to which Jesus called. As with his initial call to 'the poor' ( 13.4) and to 'sinners' ( 13.5), so with the character of discipleship for which his own practice provided the template. Whereas others sought to protect Israel's special status before Yahweh by drawing tighter boundaries round the people of promise, Jesus sought to break down these boundaries and to create a fellowship which was essentially open rather...

An Ongoing Dialogue

As thus far described, the situation at the beginning of the twenty-first century is one of even greater confusion than when Schweitzer surveyed the equivalent scene at the beginning of the twentieth century. On the one hand, the rampant neo-Liberal quest seems to have superseded and called in question some of the key results of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Gospels and life of Jesus research. And on the other, postmodernism seems to have pulled the rug completely from under the feet of...

B Probability Not Certainty

The fundamental methodological observations made by Lessing and Troeltsch must also be given full weight. The key and most enduring point can be restated simply in terms of the distinction, familiar to historians, between event, data, and fact.3 The historical 'event' belongs to the irretrievable past. All the historian has available are the 'data' which have come down through history personal diaries, reminiscences of eyewitnesses, reports constructed from people who were present, perhaps some...

Why Did Jesus Go Up to Jerusalem

Within the framework of the Gospels the answer is clear. The Evangelists, telling the story in the light of the fuller insight which Easter brought, have no doubt that the whole sequence was foreordained. Luke especially emphasizes the 'plan' predetermined by God,141 the divine necessity of what had happened,142 and begins his account of the journey to Jerusalem with the ominous words 'When the days drew near for him to be taken up he set his face to go to Je rusalem' (Luke 9.51).143 As...

Did Jesus Anticipate His Death

A second question regarding Jesus' own motivation is simply an extension of the first. If Jesus' mission in Galilee was causing increasing irritation among the Jerusalem authorities, it is not very likely that Jesus was unaware of this fact, and more than likely that he was aware of the possibility of arrest and worse. Did he then go up to Jerusalem knowing that he might well pay for the action with his life 177 174. Chilton's much repeated thesis (e.g., Temple 150-54 Pure Kingdom 124-26 Rabbi...

The Historical Context

As access to (written) sources and ability to evaluate (oral) tradition are fundamental for a historical investigation, so also is an appreciation of the context of the historical figure on whom the investigation seeks to focus. In this case the historical context is, in the first place, the geographical context of Galilee and Judea in the early decades of the first century of the common era.1 The historical context also includes, of course, the social and political context Jesus was an artisan...

Can a Further Quest Hope to Succeed

The question underlying most of what has preceded is whether any 'quest of the historical Jesus' can hope to succeed, given the quality of the data available to the quester and the character of the historical and hermeneutical tasks involved. It will be recalled that the original quest was counted a failure, its objectives (to uncover the 'inner life' of Jesus) deemed to be both illegitimate (faith must not be made to depend on the findings of historians) and impossible of achievement (in view...

A A Philological Root

No one disagrees that hohuios tou anthr pou is inelegant Greek, without parallel elsewhere in Greek of the time. Few if any now dispute that the phrase must have entered Greek as a literal translation of the Hebrew ben 'adarn or the Aramaic bar 'enasa81 or that the Hebrew Aramaic phrase denotes simply 'man'. In Hebrew 'sons of men' is a familiar phrase to denote (a) human community,82 with 'son of man' (singular) used on a number of occasions of an individual or typical individual within that...

Child Like Trust

Jesus is remembered as speaking of God quite regularly as 'your Father', the 'you' being his immediate disciples.34 There can be little doubt that in the course of transmission the motif of God as Father has been extended within the Jesus tradition.35 But the evidence is sufficient to suggest clearly that the extended motif was an elaboration of a well-remembered feature of Jesus' own teaching. In the Lord's Prayer the disciples are encouraged on their own part to...

D Conclusion

In short, there are grounds, not substantial but probably sufficient, to support these conclusions regarding the remembered Jesus (1) that Jesus' Abba prayer was both a characteristic and as such a distinctive feature of his praying, (2) that this prayer was properly heard to express a profound sense of and confidence in his relationship with God as his Father, and (3) that Jesus was also recalled as alluding to this relationship on a few occasions during his mission. We can deduce further,...

C The Major Options

The possibility of different roots for the son of man usage of the Jesus tradition and the interweaving of the various issues have inevitably given rise to a variety of interpretations of the confusing (1) One line of interpretation goes like this. The philological root is the primary source of Jesus' own usage Jesus did speak of himself as the 'son of man'. equivalent to 'a man like me'. 'one'. The influence of Dan. 7.13 is secondary it entered the Jesus tradition after Easter. The clearest...

Jesus in Sociological Perspective

The forty years from the outbreak of the First World War mark something of a hiatus or diversion in 'life of Jesus' research, dominated as the period was by the reassertion of a dogmatic christological perspective (Barth) and an (in effect) equally dogmatic kerygmatic perspective (Bultmann). Consequently, it will make better sense to delay till the next section (see 5.3 and 4 below) consideration of both the contribution of Bultmann and the wrestlings of the immediate generation with Bultmann's...

B What Rights Does the Text Have

In the middle decades of the twentieth century, as noted already, the so-called 'New Criticism' introduced the idea of the 'autonomy' of a text.56 The intention was to free the text from the assumption that its meaning must be defined as the meaning intended by the author.57 We have still to address the question of meaning, but even at this point it is probably worth registering a word of caution against a too casual talk of a text's autonomy. For the imagery evoked is unfortunate. As though...

The Historical Critical Method

Two people are usually given credit for stating and defining most clearly the principles on which critical historical study is postulated and the sobering consequences which follow.1 The first is Gotthold Lessing (1729-81).2 As the publisher of Reimarus's Fragments, Lessing was vulnerable to criticism,3 and though he was no less a rationalist himself, he attempted to meet the challenge posed by Reimarus at a more profound level. He did so in one of his most famous pamphlets, On the Proof of the...

C He Will Baptize in Spirit and Fire

There can be little doubt that the same tone of judgment is present in the other image which intervenes between the image of ruthless pruning and the image of the threshing floor 'he will baptize in Spirit and fire' (Q 3.16). It combines three powerful images. (1) The river or flood as a metaphor for being overwhelmed by calamity.129 (2) The word-play behind pneuma (Hebrew Aramaic ruah), 'wind spirit Spirit', denoting judgment as well as blessing.130 (3) Fire was the most obviously judgmental...

A The Preeminent Role Attributed to Mary of Magdala and Other Women

This is one of the firmest features of the tradition in all its variation. It is they who first tell of the empty tomb 26 Mary has the honour of reporting the empty 23. In contrast to their evaluation of the appearance to the eleven, Theissen and Merz in their evaluation of the empty tomb tradition ignore this feature of the tradition Historical Jesus 499-503). 24. Evans, Resurrection 75-79 questions whether 'an historical kernel of the empty tomb story' can be established (76) but a kernel...

The Necessity of Historical Inquiry

We start at the same point with which we began. The historical figure of Jesus will always stimulate curiosity on the part of those who are interested in the great men and women of history. Those who want to understand better the historical, social, and ideological forces which have shaped their culture will always want to inquire more closely about the man whose title (Christ) is borne by the most important and long-lasting influence (Christianity) on the European intellectual and artistic as...

C To Replace the Jerusalem Cult

The hypothesis that Jesus intended to make a fundamental challenge to the Jerusalem leadership has been extended further by correlating Jesus' word and action in regard to the Temple with his words and actions which we call the last supper. Theissen and Merz argue that Jesus intended the latter (the last supper) to replace the former (the Temple). He intended a showdown not just with the leaders of Israel. but with the whole Temple and cult as such. His word and action in the Temple declared...

How to Proceed

How then to proceed A review of predecessors, past and contemporary, confirms what might be expected anyway, that there are several dangers to be avoided. For example, we recall the criticism of the Liberal quest as too much predetermined by intellectual and cultural predispositions. In other cases the validity of the presentation has depended to an uncomfortable extent on the interpretation offered of a particular saying. For example, it is widely recognized that Schweitzer's reconstruction...

Son of Man The Issues

After 'the kingdom of God heaven' there is no phrase so common in the Jesus tradition as 'the son of man'. Its importance within the Jesus tradition, and possibly as a key to that tradition, therefore, can hardly be exaggerated. More to the immediate point, it seems to be the nearest thing in the Jesus tradition to a self-chosen self-designation. For example, in the healing of the paralysed man Jesus 77. Keck presses the point more strongly 'Jesus probably saw himself as God's obedient son,...

H The Kingdom as Imminent

One of the most influential of the earlier treatments of the subject has been that of W. G. K mmel.249 K mmel drew particular attention to 'the pressing imminence of the end' in Jesus' preaching, that is, of the final consummation, which he identified with the coming of the kingdom. The imminence of the kingdom is clear enough in the engiken, engys material and 'parables of crisis' reviewed above.250 And K mmel throws in the parable of the unjust judge for good measure (Luke 18.2-8). Luke has...

The Empty Tomb Tradition

We have already noted the likelihood that Jesus' body was given a proper, if hasty, burial.10 The tradition that this tomb was found empty 'on the first day of the week' is very similar to the traditions already examined the Synoptics have parallel versions, while the Fourth Gospel has its own distinctive account. the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Marv Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the grave. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake for an angel of the Lord,...

Jewish Factionalism Judaism from Within

How do we get 'inside' the Judaism(s) of our period Obviously by reading the documents which were written within Israel during our period, particularly those that were written from a self-consciously insider perspective and in defence of their self-perception, even if in the event they spoke for what may have been only small and relatively unrepresentative forms of Judaism. When we do so, at once a remarkable feature becomes apparent. For wherever we have such documents from within the...

D Centre at Capernaum

That Jesus made Capernaum the hub of his mission is also clearly indicated in the records. He 'left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum' (Matt. 4.13) he was 'at home' (en oiko) in Capernaum 302 it was 'his own town' (Matt. 9.1) 'he used to teach' in the synagogue there (Mark The fact that the Q material contains fierce denunciations of Capernaum (Matt. 11.23 Luke 10.15), Chorazin, and Bethsaida (Matt. 11.21 Luke 10.13) is also relevant. It must mean that Jesus had concentrated his preaching...

B Jew Israel

This finding seems to be strengthened by comparison with the much more widespread use of the terms 'Jew' and 'Israel'. The term 'Jew' begins of course as a way of identifying someone from Judea Indeed, for its early usage Ioudaios should be translated 'Judean', rather than 'Jew'.28 And even 25. Zeios in 1 Macc. 2.54, 58 zeloun in 1 Macc. 2.24, 26, 27, 50, 54, 58 ze lotesin 2 Macc. 4.2 4 Macc. 18.12. 26. See further my Galatians (BNTC London Black, 1993) ad also Theology of Paul 346-54 see...

E Judgment

The expectation of impending judgment can scarcely be excluded from the core memories of Jesus' preaching.21 1 I have already noted it as a prominent feature of the theme of eschatological reversal (see 12.4c above) those who expect a place in the kingdom with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be 'thrown out' (Matt. 8.11-12 Luke 13.28-29) 202 those who refuse the invitation to the great supper will have no place at it (Matt. 22.2-10 Luke 14.16-24) 203 there will be a final judgment when previous...

C Witnessing and Remembering

Two important motifs in the NT also confirm the importance for the first Christians of retelling the story of Jesus and of taking steps actively to recall what Jesus said and did. One is the motif of 'bearing witness'. The motif is particularly prominent in Acts and John. In Acts it is stressed that the role of the first disciples (or apostles in particular) was to be 'witnesses' (martyres) of Jesus (1.8). Particularly in mind were the events of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection (2.32 3.15...

Postmodernism

'Postmodernism' is the term coined to indicate a paradigm shift in Western thinking, like the paradigm shifts of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, a transformation in intellectual conceptualisation and ways of thinking which, again like the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, is amorphous and diffuse in character but all too real in its influence. In a major epistemological revolution earlier in the twentieth century the older subject-object antithesis and discontinuity had already come...

Consulting-it-science-engineering-and-technical

(1) and (2) The appearance(s) to the women Matt. 28.8-10 John 20.1118. 8 So they (the women) left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to his disciples. 9 And look, Jesus met them and said, 'Greetings ' And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the...

D The One to Come

Least clear of all is the only other important feature of John's message his expectation of who was to come. 'There comes after me one who is stronger than me. I am not worthy to untie the thongs of his sandals. . . . He will baptize you with Holy Spirit . . ,'.149 Whom did John expect Of the main solutions offered, none is wholly satisfactory. (1) God is a possibility not to be lightly discarded.151 In Mai. 3.1, a passage which is thoroughly bound up with the Baptist tradition (Mark 1.2 Matt....

B An Option Canvassed in regard to Jesus

Little doubt need be entertained that Jesus was seen in the role of a prophet during his mission. The testimony of the Jesus tradition is both quite widespread and consistent across its breadth. (1) We have already noted Mark 6.15 pars, and 8.28 pars., which report the rumours speculation that Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah, or a prophet. Such reports are certainly part of the developed form in which these stories were told in the one case they are attributed to Herod Antipas in the other...

D The Absence of Any Tomb Veneration

One of the most striking factors to be considered is that we have no record in the early decades of Christianity of any tomb being venerated as the place where Jesus had been laid to rest. Despite theories to the contrary, Luke, who shared the very physical understanding of Jesus' resurrection body (Luke 24.39), never gives the slightest hint of worship or prayer on the site of Jesus' burial in his account of Christianity's beginnings in Jerusalem (Acts 2-5). Nor does Paul ever as much as hint...

Women

The tradition as a whole makes little effort to focus on the success or otherwise of Jesus' mission with women in particular. As was the case well into the twentieth century in western countries, there was no differentiation within the community as community between men and women. If the question had been posed, Christian women would not have felt themselves excluded even when the preacher addressed his (sic) congregation as 'brethren'. However, the newer sensitivities of the last generation...

C Jesus Messiahship as a Post Easter Affirmation

Other scholars are equally convinced that the issue of royal messiahship did not arise during Jesus' mission he was first designated as Messiah after Easter, in consequence of his resurrection as Acts 2.36 and 13.33 imply. Messiahship was then read back into the life of Jesus but wherever it arises in the Gospels, the motif of messiahship is redactional. This view emerged only with Wrede's thesis of 'the messianic secret' at the beginning of the twentieth century (see above Prior to that the...

The Centrality of the Kingdom of

The centrality of the kingdom1 of God (basileia theou) in Jesus' preaching is one of the least disputable, or disputed, facts about Jesus.2 If we are looking for features which are characteristic of the Jesus tradition and relatively distinctive to the Jesus tradition, then the kingdom of God has to be one of the first to be considered. In this we follow Mark's lead. In opening his account of Jesus' mission, Mark sets out a kind of summary statement or headline 'After John had been handed over,...

The Syrophoenician Woman

21 Jesus left that place and went off to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, Have mercy on me, lord, son of David my daughter is tormented by a demon. 23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, Send her away, for she keeps shouting afler us. 24 He answered, 1 was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 He...

G Was Jesus a Magician

The question has been hotlv debated since Morton Smith proposed a straightforward Yes But the debate remains confused and not reallv capable of delivering a satisfactorv answer. A kev problem is the definition of 'magic' and the range of practices covered bv the term 342 in particular, is the attempt to manipulate and coerce spiritual powers a defining feature of magic A correlated problem is that the overlap of religion, ritual, and magic343 means that anv attempt to interact with the...

D Again Why Resurrection

So. once again. why 'resurrection' It remains a question which we cannot answer with great confidence. But presumably there was something in what the first witnesses saw which they could bring to expression only with this term 'resurrection' . There seems to have been something about these Easter experiences which impacted in a determinative and decisive way in the affirmation. 'God has raised Jesus from the dead ' (1) The most obvious alternative is in terms of hallucination. the projection of...

The Search for an Invulnerable Area for Faith

However we may now evaluate the fundamental statements about historical method by Lessing and Troeltsch, the fact is that the strict application of historical method became a major problem for those who wished to maintain some sort of faith standpoint. The response was a flight from history, less trumpeted than the Enlightenment's flight from dogma, but just as critical for the understanding and expression of faith. Lessing's (or the Enlightenment) solution, as we have seen, was to postulate an...

B Matt 54348Luke 62728 3236

More striking still is the passage preserved in the Sermon on the Mount Plain More striking still is the passage preserved in the Sermon on the Mount Plain 43 You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy'. 44 But I sav to Love vour enemies 27 But I say to you that Love vour enemies, do good to those prav for those who persecute vou, 45 so that vou may be sons of your Father in heaven for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on...

D Cleansing the Temple Mark 111517 pars

The likelihood that Jesus' dictum regarding the Temple's future provided the grounds for his arrest naturallv draws attention to the event which the Svnoptics report as having taken place a few davs earlier traditionallv known as 'the cleansing of the Temple' Mark 11.15-17 pars. .113 111. Funk, Five Gospels 102 Acts of Jesus 125-26 Ludemann, Jesus 83. 112. See also W. Horburv, 'The Temple Tax', in Bammel and Moul e, Jesus and Politics 265-86. The specific mention of Herodians onlv here in...

A Jesus Trial and Condemnation Mark 15139 pars68

One of the clearest and most striking facts regarding Jesus is that he was executed as a messianic pretender. 1 He was condemned for claiming to be 'the king of the Jews', as all four canonical Gospels agree Mark 15.26 pars. . 'King of the Jews' was never a Christian title, so the only reason for its appearance in the account of Jesus' execution is that it summed up the charge on which he was executed.69 That is, he could be credibly or mockingly treated as an aspirant to the throne of Herod...

A Historical Text as Historical Text

If the Renaissance and Reformation recognition of the distance and difference of the past continues to provide a fundamental perspective for historical inquiry, so too their reappropriation of the fact that the original texts of the NT were not first composed in the lingua franca of western Europe Latin likewise continues to provide a fundamental hermeneutical principle. In other words, the necessity and character of translation become a basic factor in any contemporary use of these texts to...

The Collapse of the Liberal Quest

The assumption that historical and source criticism were uncovering the 'historical Jesus', a Jesus attractive to the Liberal sentiments of the late nineteenth century, was rudely shattered in the decades spanning the turn of the century. Two principal causes have been identified as undermining the quest. One was the reintroduction of eschatology into the picture.94 The point of entry was Jesus' teaching on the kingdom of God. In late-nineteenth-century Liberal Protestantism the kingdom had...

A Who Were the Sinners

One of the more spicey controversies of recent historical Jesus scholarship was occasioned by the swingeing criticism levelled by Sanders against Jeremias's answer to the question. Jeremias had confused the issue by defining 'sinners' as 'a specific term for those engaged in despised trades' and by lumping them together with 'the amme-ha-aretz people of the land , the uneducated, the ignorant, whose religious ignorance and moral behaviour stood in the way of their access to salvation, according...

Crucifixus sub Pontio Pilato

From very early days the Apostles' Creed jumped at once from Jesus' birth to his suffering and death natus ex Maria virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus et sepultus 'born from the Virgin Mary. suffered under Pontius Pilate. was crucified. dead. and buried' . Whatever the richer theological reasoning behind the huge gap between Jesus' birth and death. the gap self reflected the difficulty of pinning down hard historical data to times and places within that gap. The same...

C Other Judaisms

For the sake of completeness some mention ought to be made of other groupings known to us either in the land or in the period of our concern. 1 Of those who exercised some degree of political power, along with the Sadducees, we should note the 'elders' presbyteroi . 'The elders of the congregation' and 'the elders of the city' were a long established feature of Israel's life. And 'elders' appear frequently in the NT, often with 'high priests' 17 times , 'rulers' Acts 4.5, 8 , or 'scribes' 12...

D What Kind of Eschatology

What kind of 'end' does the Jesus tradition envisage The earlier discussion noted that the term 'end' was used more flexibly than discussions of Jesus' eschatology have usually allowed for. Since 'end' could denote the end of an epoch, and 'the end of days' did not necessarily envisage the end of time 12.3b , the idea of Jesus claiming in some sense to have fulfilled expectations for the age to come in his mission is less problematic than might at first appear.448 Similarly, the issues posed by...

D Expectations of Suffering

The various strands of the reversal theme are evident apart from the theme itself. First the expectation of suffering. As we have already seen 12.4b , the Lord's Prayer included a petition to escape the peirasmos Matt. 6.13a Luke 11.4b . And the final beatitude Matt. 6.22-23 certainly assumes that dis ciples of Jesus should expect suffering. The latter was no doubt much pondered on and reused as the many textual variants also indicate and the divergent forms of the Matthean and Lukan forms...

A Gerd Theissen

To Gerd Theissen must go the credit for making the first effective attempt to study NT texts from a sociological perspective.131 With regard to Jesus, he argued that 'The sayings tradition is characterized by an ethical radicalism that is shown most noticeably in the renunciation of a home, family, and possessions'.132 In a larger sequel he broadened his perspective from a sociology of literature to a study of the sociology of the Jesus movement, whose objective he defined as 'to describe...

E Jesus the Healer

Mark again provides a good range of examples of the range of healings which were credited to Jesus during his mission. no doubt in marketplace gossip as well as disciple gatherings. To draw from them the conclusion that stories like these must have circulated during his mission is to toy again with the idea that we should try to uncover a historical Jesus who was similar to but somehow different from the Jesus of the Synoptics. These were the stories which were being circulated during his...

D Jesus the Exorcist

Two of the exorcism narratives are of particular interest the demoniac in the synagogue at Capernaum Mark 1.23-28 Luke 4.33-37 and the Gerasene demoniac Mark 5.1-20 pars. . It will suffice to cite only Mark in both cases, since Luke follows Mark closely in the first case, and despite the improvements introduced by the others in the second.278 immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit he cried out, 'What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth Have you come to...

F Reward and Heavenly Banquet

Another strand of the eschatological reversal theme is the prospect of reward or vindication held out to those who responded to Jesus' message. This too is a feature of the beatitudes Matt. 5.3-6, 10-12 Luke 6.20-23 see above 12.4c, d . The warning against being ashamed of Jesus Mark 8.38 pars. has a counterpart in the balanced antithesis, 'Those who confess me will be spoken for, those who deny me will be denied' Matt. 10.32-33 Luke 12.8-9 .228 Faithful servants will be rewarded.229 Triply...

C C F D Moule

Did not focus his attention on the character or processes of oral tradition, so his contribution is somewhat tangential to the present concerns. Nevertheless, his insights into the formation of the Gospels are of considerable relevance two in particular. First, he observed that the Gospels retain a clear distinction between pre-Easter and post-Easter perceptions of Jesus.120 His pupil, Eugene Lemcio, has elaborated the point. The Synoptic Gospels particularly retain a clear sense of before and...

A Luke 1426

He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. If anyone comes to me and does not hate his He who does not hate his father and his father and wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, he cannot be mv disciple. mother will not be able to be mv disciple and mother as I do , will not be able to be mv he who does not hate his brothers and his sisters and does not bear his cross as I have,...

Hungering for What Is Right

The high evaluation accorded to the Torah in Jewish tradition has always been one of the distinguishing marks of Judaism 9.5d and one of the fundamental points of differentiation with Christianity. The attitude of Jesus to the law of Israel has therefore been one of the key issues for questers, not least with the question in view whether subsequent Christian rejection of the law can be traced back to Jesus himself, or can at least find validation in what he taught and in the way he conducted...

B Jesus the Revolutionary

One end of the spectrum is confident that Jesus intended to lead a revolution against Rome's overlordship. Starting with Reimarus this thesis has been offered at various times during the past two hundred years.33 Particularly in the 1960s, the portrayal of Jesus as equivalent to the modern freedom fighter proved to be very influential in Liberation theology.34 But the most scholarly statement of the thesis has been that of S. G. F. Brandon. Brandon's argument is basically that the Gospels'...

C Markan Narratives

I have already given examples of where Synoptic analysis points to the firm conclusion of Matthean and Lukan dependency on Mark 7.3 . But in other cases the variation in detail is such that the straightforward hypothesis of literary dependence on Mark becomes very strained. Consider the following narratives the stilling of the storm Mark 4.35-41 Matt. 8.23-27 Luke 8.22-25 the Syro-phoenician woman Mark 7,24-30 Matt. 15.21-28 the healing of the possessed boy Mark 9.14-27 Matt. 17.14-18 Luke...

The Widows Pence

41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched how the crowd gut money into the Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper looked up and saw rich people putting into the treasury their gifts 2 he also saw a needy widow putting in two small copper which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, Truly I this poor widow has put in more than all 3 He said, Of a truth Ltell this poor widow has put in more than all of those who...

A The Four Sects

The usual starting point has been Josephus' 'four philosophies' or 'sects' haireseis 44 not unnaturally since Josephus' way of introducing them seems to imply that these were the only groupings among the Jews worthy of attention on the part of his readers War 2.119-166 Ant. 18.11-25 . To begin with 43. The objective is limited I have no intention of attempting a full description of the groups and elements which made up Second Temple Judaism. 44. Note the various discussions on the use of terms...