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...

Priestlv Messiah

For the sake of completeness we need at least to mention this further strand of Jewish expectation at the time of Jesus. For from various sources it is evident that some of Jesus' contemporaries invested considerable hope in the other most prominent anointed figure in the life of ancient Israel the anointed priest. The development is usuallv traced back to Zechariah 4, where two anointeds are envisaged, not onlv Zerubbabel, the roval figure, but also Joshua the high priest.177 The influence of...

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...

C The Last Supper

The obvious second example is the record of Jesus' last supper with his disciples, which evidently became a matter of regular liturgical celebration (1 Cor. 11.2326). The tradition here is fourfold. 26 While they were eating. Jesus took a loaf of 22 While they were he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it. giving it to the disciples, and said. Take, eat this is mv bodv. 27 Then he took a cup, and after giving bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said....

A Jewish Expectation

Three prophetic figures feature in Jewish eschatological expectation. (1) Mai. 4.5-6 evidently aroused considerable speculation regarding the return ofElijah 'Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse'. This expectation was echoed in Sir. 48.9-10 'you who are ready at the appointed time, it is...

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...

An Issue during Jesus Mission

It is a priori likely that an individual who spoke memorably of God's kingdom, who gathered disciples around him, and who created something of a stir would have raised in many minds the equivalent to the modern question 'Who does he think he is ' It should now be clear that 'claimant to royal messiahship' was one possible answer to be considered. If Simon, one of Herod's slaves, and Athronges the shepherd could aspire to kingship (Josephus, Ant. 17.273-74, 278), we can hardly assume that Jesus'...

Info

47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. Man is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea he drew it out of the sea when it was of little fishes. Among them the wise fisherman found a large good fish. The wise fisherman cast all the little fishes down into the sea (and) chose the large fish without difficulty. The...

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,...

B The Question about Davids

Mark 12.35-37a pars, is one of the most difficult Synoptic passages to evaluate in historical terms. But its relevance is so clear that it cannot be ignored. 41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, 'What do you think of the Christ Whose son is he ' said to him. 'The son of David'. 43 He said to them, 'How is it then that inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, 44 The Lord said to illy Lord. Sit 35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he...

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...

The Death of John

Little more need be said about John at this point. Both the Synoptic tradition and Josephus speak of his execution by Herod Antipas after a period of imprisonment in Herod's fortress at Machaerus, says Josephus Ant. 18.119). The reasons given are at first glance quite different. In the Synoptics John arouses Herod's ire by condemning Herod's action in marrying his brother's wife (Herodias), but in Josephus John's preaching arouses such enthusiasm among his audiences to follow John's counsel 'in...

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 '...

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...

Who Was Jesus

And yet with more potential to mislead a quester than any other. For one thing, the question plays on the assumption which has bedevilled so much talk of 'the historical Jesus' that there is an entity 'back there' who is somehow independent of his disciples' response to him, but who is nevertheless recoverable by historical inquiry.1 For another, the question quickly becomes entangled in definitions of identity, in confusion between being and doing, role 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...

For Whom Did Jesus Intend His Message

We began by examining what was clearly the central single element in Jesus' preaching the kingdom of God. That allowed us to survey and classify (in a provisional way) a very substantial amount of the tradition of Jesus' teaching. It will be necessary to return to much of that material to ask different questions of it as we proceed. In chapter 12 one issue proved sufficiently absorbing to require all our attention the meaning of the term itself and what its use would have evoked for Jesus'...

Appearance Traditions

The second sequence of traditions is much more extensive, but also much more diverse. Indeed, there is nothing quite like them in the Jesus tradition and an effective synoptic analysis is almost impossible. In the following table I set out the data in as close to a putative chronological order as the data permit, without putting any weight on the chronological relationships at this stage.

F When Did Faith Begin

The significance of the step being advocated here, therefore, should not be missed. For it is tantamount to asserting that faith goes back to the very origins of the Jesus tradition, that the Jesus tradition emerged from the very first as the expression of faith. In so saying I do not mean that the tradition was formulated only in the light of Easter faith, as Wrede and the kerygmatic theologians have assumed. I am referring to the first stirrings of faith which constituted the initial,...

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...

C Analogy

Troeltsch's second characteristic of the historical-critical method is the necessary complement to the recognition of historical otherness above). The recognition of a natural homogeneity and similarity between the historian and the historian's subject matter is what prevents history from lapsing into a bare catalogue of sequences of events. This insight was fundamental to Wilhelm Dilthey's attempt to distinguish the methodology of the human sciences from that of the natural sciences. 'Lived...

C The Absence of Any Hint of an Undisturbed Tomb

The relevance of the archaeological evidence is obvious. In Jerusalem (and elsewhere in the land of Israel) any claim that a body had been raised would most likely be understood in terms of restoration or reconstitution of the dead body. The corollary would have been that the (old) body had disappeared physical resurrection necessarily implied empty tomb.45 It is notable, then, that there is no hint at any point in the material available to us of questions being posed to early Christian claims...

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...

C Purity Dispensing with the Cult

A more likely cause of irritation to the religious authorities were reports of Jesus' disregard for purity ritual. We have already noted how central to Second Temple Judaism were concerns for purity, and how these concerns were heightened by the factionalism of the period indeed, such concerns were one of the major factors making for that factionalism ( 9.4, 5c-d). Borg in particular has consistently highlighted the 'politics of holiness purity' 'the purity system was the ideology of the ruling...

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...

A

Great storm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him up. saying, Lord, save us We are perishing 26 And he said to them, Why are you you of little faith Then he got up and rebuked the winds 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, Let us go across to the other side. 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great arose, and the...

Three Key Questions a A Grand Narrative

But should we be thinking of a single larger story Can these different strands be combined into what historians have called a single 'grand narrative' The historians' idea of a 'grand narrative' is rooted in the biblical conception of history as a linear and purposeful progression. So perhaps the collapse of that idea among contemporary historians (in reference to modernity)86 should serve as a cue to biblical scholars to rethink the issue. The same warning...

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...

D How Then to Proceed

It would be a mistake to think of these three key questions ( 12.3a-c) as somehow secondary to the task of understanding the impact made by Jesus' kingdom preaching, as though we could first expound the kingdom texts and then go on to ask what his preaching evoked in the minds of his hearers. On the contrary, these questions go to the heart of the hermeneutical problem of perceiving how these texts were heard in the first century and of how we rehear that hearing today. So the typical way of...

A A Phrase Used by Jesus

The phrase occurs 86 times in the NT 69 in the Synoptic Gospels, 13 in John's Gospel, and only 4 times elsewhere. Of these four, three are quotations from or allusions to OT passages,132 each of them referring to 'a son of man' and showing no awareness of the consistent articular usage of the Gospels ('the Son of Man'). Only one titular usage ('the Son of Man') appears outside the Gospels in Stephen's vision in Acts 7.56. This is a striking fact the phrase belongs almost exclusively to the...

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...

The Flight from History

The quest for the historical figure known as Jesus of Nazareth has been marked throughout by tension between faith and history. Initially the faith in question was conceived as dogma, the developed and formalized faith of the Christian churches, perceived as forming a kind of suffocating layer which separated present from past, or even a kind of prison from which the historical Jesus needed to be liberated. At first history was seen as the great liberator. Careful historical research, it was...

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...

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...

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'...

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...

C What of Jesus Himself

If then Jesus was seen to fit the category 'prophet'. how did he see the matter himself Was he remembered as claiming to fulfil the expectations regarding a prophet. or the prophet. or as acting as a prophet The evidence here is rather 11.30 (just as so .'). probably a Hebraic construction (D. Schmidt. 'The LXX Gattung Prophetic Correlative', JBL 96 1977 517-22) Kloppenborg refers also to 1Q27 1.6 and 4Q246 2.1-2 (Formation 130 n. 127). But 11.30 is generally regarded as a 'redactional clasp'...

B Judgment on Israel

The note of judgment is clear and unrelenting in Q's language and imagery 'viper's brood',115 'the coming wrath' (Q 3.7),116 'the ax already laid at the root of the trees', 'every tree not bearing good fruit cut down and thrown into the (Q 3.9),117 'the winnowing shovel to clear the threshing floor',118 the chaff to be burned 'with unquenchable fire' (Q 3.17).119 That Israel is in view, whether individuals, Judea's leaders,120 or Israel as such,121 is evident from Q 3.8 'Do not begin presume to...

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...

B Archaeological Evidence

Archaeological evidence from Jerusalem in particular provides some interesting circumstantial support. The evidence indicates that during the Herodian period there developed the practice of secondary burial. The initial burial, typically in a rock-hewn chamber, allowed the flesh to decay from the bones. Probably a year after initial burial the bones were collected and put in an ossuary (bone box), which was retained inside the loculi tomb.37 Of special interest is the fact that this practice...

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,...

Beginning from the Baptism of John

Two facts in the life of Jesus1 command almost universal assent. They bracket the three years for which Jesus is most remembered, his life's work, his sion.2 One is Jesus' baptism by John. The other is his death by crucifixion. Because they rank so high on the 'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical 'facts', they are obvious starting points for an attempt to clarify the what and why of Jesus' mission. It would be quite feasible, then, to begin with the crucifixion, as the event...

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...

A The Historical Stature of John

Initially at any rate, John seems to have had as great a claim to historical significance as Jesus, if not greater. He receives favourable mention by Josephus, who introduces him as 'John, the one called Baptist and goes on to speak of him at some length (Ant. 18.116-19), beginning thus He was a good man and had exhorted the Jews to lead righteous lives, to practise justice towards their fellows and piety towards God, and so doing to join in baptism. In his view this was a necessary preliminary...

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...

Two Corollaries

Finally, two corollaries which emerge from the preceding discussions are of interest at least to Christian scholarship. a. One is the issue of norms. At various points I have indicated that the interpreter of the Jesus tradition has to acknowledge a degree of normativity to particular forms of that tradition the Greek text is normative for translations and thus also interpretations of that text the 'plain meaning' of the text (as defined earlier) has primary claim to be the voice of the text in...

Thesis and Method

In sum, the basic argument of this book can be summed up in a number of propositions. (1) The only realistic objective for any 'quest of the historical Jesus' is Jesus remembered. (2) The Jesus tradition of the Gospels confirms that there was a concern within earliest Christianity to remember Jesus. (3) The Jesus tradition shows us how Jesus was remembered its character strongly suggests again and again a tradition given its essential shape by regular use and reuse in oral mode. (4) This...

The Synoptic Tradition as Oral Tradition Narratives

We certainly do not know enough about oral traditioning in the ancient world to draw from that knowledge clear guidelines for our understanding of how the Jesus tradition was passed down in its oral stage. Any inquiry on this subject is bound to turn to the Jesus tradition itself to ask whether there is sufficient evidence of oral transmission and what the tradition itself tells us about the traditioning process. We need to bear in mind, of course, that the only evidence we have is already...

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...

How Did Jesus See His Own Role

We have already begun to explore this question in asking how Jesus is remembered as responding to the categories his contemporaries would most likely have fitted him into the division between chapters 15 and 16 is as much a matter of convenience as of substance. Two further categories are suggested by the Jesus tradition itself, son of God and son of man, and these will be the principal focus of this chapter. But it also makes sense to begin by drawing together the threads of chapter insofar as...

Hachlili R 303nn219220 305n228

Haenchen, E., 216n.203, 783n.l03 Hagner, D. A., 14n.9, 88n.ll4, 565n.99, 666n.244 Hahn, F., 87n.235, 330-31n.4, 345n.34, 620n.27, 645n.l49, 667n.246, 710n.21, 715n.44, 720n.66, 735n.l21, 744n.l61, 795n.l72, 801n.l92, 810n.220, 814n.235, 862n.l66 Haider, J., 103n.8 Haight, G., 30n.l6 Halpern, B., 474n.424 Halpem-Amaru, B 474n.429 Hamerton-Kelly, K 548n.30, 594n.226, 595n.229, 596n.238 Hampel, V 511n,105, 512n.lll, 633n.l00, 665n.237, 729n.96, 731n.l06, 736n.l27, 740nn.l44,146, 741n,151,...

DInheriting the Land

In 12.4c we observed that Matthew's third beatitude ('Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land earth') clearly alludes to Ps. 37.11 ('The meek shall possess the land'). More to the point here, the allusion is clearly a play on the ancient covenant promise that Abraham's descendants would inherit the land.114 Although Matthew probably took the beatitude's promise in a spiritual sense we should at least be aware of the underlying strand of thought in some sense 'the meek' would enjoy...

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....

C A Baptism of Preparation

One of the most constant features in John's preaching is the promise of a future baptism which John contrasts with his own. The constant elements are common to all four Gospels, and probably also Q T baptize you with water he will baptize you with Holy Spirit'.108 The implication is that reception of John's baptism was a way to prepare for the future baptism. Later Christian interpretation assumed that 'baptize' in both cases means 'baptize in water' and that the future baptism is (or proved to...

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...