B Jesus Reputation

All the more striking, then, is the fact that 'teacher' is the most common title used for Jesus in the Jesus tradition. The parallel between Jesus and his disciples on the one hand and rabbis and their pupils on the other is deficient, but it cannot be emptied of all significance. Nor should we forget that Josephus also characterized Jesus as 'a teacher of people' (Ant. 18.63).

The most striking evidence, however, is the content of the Jesus tradition

388. 4Q174 (4QFlor) 1.11 (different from the 'branch of David'); CD 6.7; 7.18 (identified with the star).

389. See particularly lQpHab 1.13; 2.2; 5.10; 7.4; 11.5;CD 1.11; 20.1, 28, 32. But there was no thought of the Torah being replaced (see, e.g., Schürer, History 2.535-36).

390. How these two figures were related in Qumran thought remains unclear (see Collins, Scepter and Star 102-104, 111-12).

391. Matt. 12.42/Luke 11.31 is relevant here.

392. Data in chapter 8 nn. 22-23 and chapter 14 n. 62 above.

394. See above, §7.1. Lucian referred to him as 'that crucified sophist' (Peregrinus 13).

itself. Jesus was remembered as a teacher because his teaching was so memorable, in its style as well as its content. We need only recall the teaching of Jesus reviewed above in chapters 12 and 14. In particular, we need have no hesitation in recognizing the high incidence of wisdom sayings, aphorisms, and maxims, which are such a feature of the Q material, so well exemplified in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7).395 And it is beyond dispute that Jesus told many parables. Indeed, although he hardly invented the parable form, it can be affirmed with full confidence that the parable was a distinctive feature of his teaching, both in the extended use he made of it and in its character as an extended meta-phor.396 So much so that a more accurate title for Jesus than 'teacher' would have been moSel ('parabolist'), one who characteristically spoke in parables and pithy sayings (mesalim).397Here, as in the case of Jesus the exorcist, the criterion of 'characteristic and relatively distinctive' (§10.2) proves its effectiveness, and there should be little doubt that we are in direct touch with the enduring impact left by Jesus.

It follows also that Jesus must have seen himself as fulfilling the role of teacher in at least some measure. He is always remembered as responding positively to the address 'Teacher'.398 And he may have deliberately spoken of himself in such terms (Matt. 10.24-25/Luke 6.40). There is nothing controversial so far.

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