C Did Jesus Teach That He Was Gods

Leaving aside the much developed Johannine tradition,53 there are three passages which cannot be ignored: Matt. 11.27/Luke 10.22; Mark 12.6; and 13.32.1 have dealt with them in some detail in Jesus and the Spirit, with indecisive results.54 Does a more explicitly tradition-historical approach add anything new? (1) Only the Son (Matt. 11.27/Luke 10.22):


Luke 10.22

All things have been handed over to me bv mv Father; and no one knows the Son except

All things have been handed over to me bv mv Father; and no one knows who the Son is except

the and no one knows the Father except the Son and anvone to whom the Son chooses to

the Father. or who the Father is except the Son and anvone to whom the Son chooses to

reveal him'.

reveal him'.

Matt. 11.27/Luke 10.22 is the continuation of the fuller Q passage Matt. 11.25-27/Luke 10.21-22 (§16.2b), whose language, style, and structure clearly indicate an Aramaic origin. The variations between Matt. 11.27 and Luke 10.22 are no more than performance variants. The problem for questers is that both forms look like developed tradition. Two considerations are of greatest weight. First, the saying is untypical of the Synoptic tradition and has a distinctively Johannine

51. Dalman, Words 190; Bornkamm, Jesus of Nazareth 128-29; Goppelt, Theology 1.203; Theissen and Merz, Historical Jesus 526.

52. See again my earlier discussions in Jesus and the Spirit 23-26 (where the discussion focuses on the question of Jesus' own experience), and in Christology 28-33 (where the discussion focuses more on whether Jesus had a consciousness of pre-existence).

53. See again my Christology 29-32.

54. Jesus and the Spirit 26-36. I omit consideration of Luke 22.29-30 ('my Father's kingdom') here, since it is attested only by Luke and cannot be attributed to Q; but see Jesus and the Spirit 36.

55. Burney, Poetry 133, 171-72; Manson, Sayings 79; Jeremias, Prayers 46-47; also Proclamation 57-58. There is disagreement on whether the two sayings originally belonged together; for contrasting views see Fitzmyer, Luke 2.866; Davies and Allison Matthew 2.279.

56. See also discussion in Davies and Allison, Matthew 2.280-81 and n. 206.

ring.57 This Q passage may thus indicate one of the shoots which grew into the full Johannine bloom. But it also may indicate that the development was already well under way in Q. If. for example. John ('the Father knows me and I

know my Father') attests awareness of an early tradition somewhat along these lines.58 then Matt. 10.22 already attests a heightened exclusivity in the christological claims of Q.

Second. the claim to unrestricted authority and the absoluteness and siveness of the relation postulated between 'the Father' and 'the Son' are unprecedented in the pre-Easter Synoptic tradition. Again it is possible to argue for an earlier. less exclusive. form of the tradition. Jeremias suggested that the chiastic parallelism of the two lines 'is simply an oriental periphrasis for a mutual relationship: only father and son really know each other'.60 And the Wisdom literature throws up several parallels of not so dissimilar claims to knowledge of God.61 particularly Wis. 2.10-20. where it is said of the righteous man: 'He claims to have knowledge of God. and calls himself a child (paida) of the Lord ... and boasts that God is his father' (vv. 13. 16).62 However. the more we think we can see a less controversial father-son saying behind Matt. 10.22.

the more controversial the present form of the Q passage seems to be.63

Here it is wise to acknowledge that such a discussion is unavoidably caught in the inadequacies of the historical method.64 For its natural recourse is to search out precedents and parallels to help explain particular and distinctive data. And the tendency or temptation is to conform the data to the precedents. to explain by explaining away the less obviously explicable elements.

57. Cf. John 1.18; 3.35; 5.20; 7.29; 10.15; 13.3; 14.7.9; 17.25. This is the decisive consideration for Funk. Five Gospels 182. and Ludemann. Jesus 330-31, in deciding for the saying's inauthenticity. Note also Dial. Sav. 134.14-15: 'How will someone who does [not] know [the Son] know the [Father]?'

58. Dodd. Historical Tradition 359-61.

59. The closest parallel to Matt. in the Synoptic tradition is (the post-resurrection saying) Matt. 28.18: 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me'.

60. Jeremias. Prayers 47-48; taking up a suggestion of Dalman. Words 193-94.

61. F. Christ. JesusSophia. Die Sophia-ChristologiebeidenSynoptikern(Zurich: Zwingli. 1970) 89 refers to Job 28.1-28; Sir. 1.6, 8; Bar. 3.15-4.4; cf. 1 Cor. 2.11. M. J. Suggs, Wisdom, Christology and Law in Matthew's Gospel (Cambridge: Harvard University. 1970) 89-95 refers particularly to Wis. 2.17-18 and 4.10. 13-15. For the DSS. see W. D. Davies.'"Knowledge" in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Matt. 11.25-30', HTR 46 (1953). reprinted in Christian Origins and Judaism (London: DLT, 1962) 119-44, E. Schweizer refers particularly to 1QS 4.22; 9.17-18; 11.3,1518; lQSb (lQ28b) 4.25-28; 1QH 10[2].13; 18[10].27-28 (TDNT8.373 n. 281).

62. Cf. Schillebeeckx. Jesus 265.

63. Contrast I. H. Marshall. 'The Divine Sonship of Jesus'. Interpretation 21 (1967) 87103. reprinted in Jesus the Saviour: Studies in New Testament Theology (London: SPCK, 1990) 134-49 (here 137-39); Witherington. Christology 221-28.

So here we have to ask whether it could have been Jesus himself who expressed himself so exultantly, perhaps only once, in terms which went beyond those used by the righteous man in Wisdom or the Teacher of Righteousness at In other words, do we at this point hear with and through Jesus' first disciples another example of the eschatological plus (§16.1) — a boasting in the plenitude of authority bestowed on him, an exultation at the closeness of his relation with God as Father, and a sense that the climax of eschatological revelation depended on his imparting it to others? All these elements link into implicit claims already documented. The question, then, would be whether it was Jesus himself, who on one occasion at least, crystallized them in the form preserved here. Or should the saying proper be attributed rather to those responsible for the early formation of the Jesus tradition, aware as we may suppose them to have been of such implicit eschatological claims and concerned to formulate them more explicitly and memorably for teaching and liturgical can see nothing in the text which points decisively in favour of one alternative rather than the other.

(2) The parable of the wicked tenants (Mark 12.1-9 pars.):

Matt. 21.33-41

Mark 12.1-9

Luke 20.9-16

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