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Reproduced by permission of the author. To address the subject of the theological significance of the earthly Jesus I take as my topic the central question of Jesus and God.
The question must be approached from both sides. In what sense might Jesus conceivably have thought in these terms about himself? Can we, as historians, describe the way in which he might have wrestled with this question within the parameters of his own first century Jewish worldview?
Second, what happens to our sense of the identity of God when we allow our long historical look at Jesus to influence what we mean by the endlessly fascinating word?
As a result, the christological answer was in the last analysis contained within the premises.
The stock answer from within the conservative Christianity which had nurtured me through my teens came from C. There is a sense in which I still believe this, but it is a heavily revised sense and must be struggled for, not lightly won.
There are no short-circuited arguments in the kingdom of God. One response to this offered by implication only, since no one would dare say such a thing out loud in the post-holocaust world was that Jesus opposed first century Judaism, broke out of its constraining shackles, and was at liberty to think and say what he liked, and the same went for his followers.
The study of Jesus and the early Church, particularly of the rise of early christology, has remained under the shadow of these two denials.
Most commentaries and monographs, articles and seminar papers, assume them, or at most make an almost mantra-like nod in their direction in order to seek elsewhere the origin of the strange belief in Jesus as simultaneously and fully divine and human.
In particular, with the popularity of the hermeneutic of suspicion a third assumption has grown up alongside the other two, and I now regularly meet it all over the place: The NT itself, and traditional readings thereof, thus stand condemned of compromising the pure original message.
It is not only those on the extreme wing, such as Burton Mack, who believe and write this sort of thing. Let me give three examples of the sort of position these assumptions produce, even among those who are self-confessed Christians. It was only, according to Dunn, with John and Hebrews, and not consistently there either, that the move was made to say that Jesus was actually divine, and that move could only be explained as a switch away from Judaism and into Hellenism.
Dunn assumed that the real incarnational theology was impossible from within Judaism, but also assumed the mainline presupposition of post-war NT scholarship that the early Christianity, including Paul, was at bottom Jewish rather than Hellenistic.
Dunn was thus hailed by some as showing that Paul and the other early Christians really were thoroughly Jewish and had not compromised with Hellenism, but the cost was enormous.
However, this did not seem to matter too much since incarnational theology has not been something that many NT scholars, even conservative and evangelical ones, wanted to find. As we shall see, conservative scholars were more often interested in the second coming of Jesus than the first.
The second example takes the same point and projects it back on to Jesus. In his Bampton Lectures Anthony Harvey argued that it was impossible that Jesus should have thought of himself as divine, since it was only when the gospel went out into the non-Jewish world that anybody could even think of such a thing.
Geza Vermes and others had been emphasizing it, but Harvey said it with peculiar elegance. However, he believed that a way could still be found to an orthodox Christian affirmation, since we today discover by various routes that Jesus is worthy not only of our admiration but also of our worship.
Jesus himself, however, would not have thought in this way. This conclusion has clearly not proved satisfactory in the minds of most thinkers of the last twenty years.
Book after book, at both a scholarly and popular level, on both sides of the Atlantic, has returned to the same point and made it the starting-point for a different exploration of what Jesus really said and thought.
As you know, two or three such books are splashed around the publishing world every year. The fact that they are mutually incompatible does not deter authors and publishers from producing yet more Jesuses.
Recently from one of the most famous pulpits in New England, a new book about Jesus was recommended to me on the grounds that the Jesus contained therein was opposed to capital punishment, was uninterested in sexual ethics, and in various other ways my summary supported the liberal status quo.
These are the books that are sold in Barnes and Noble, in Waterstones, in W. These are the books that people in my congregation, and perhaps yours, are likely to read. At a time when the general mood of the culture in which I live is deeply anti-Christian, ready to swallow anything, no matter how wild or wacky, as long as it is not orthodox Christianity, these are the books that feed the general cultural mood and that increase the sense that anyone who believes or practices anything like orthodox Christianity is simply living in cloud-cookoo-land.
Our culture knows in its bones that Jesus could not have been like we traditionally say he was. My third example is my good friend and colleague Marcus Borg, with whom I have discussed these issues dozens of times over the past decade. We have now collaborated on a book which sets out the main points of our dialogue.
He does not accept such thinking because, as he says explicitly at one point, he does not like, or approve of that Jesus.Home Essays Belonging Questions.
Belonging Questions How belonging creates a sense of identity 1. To what extent do different groups to which we belong define who we are you’re your answer refer to your prescribed text and two texts of your own choosing.
close reference to your prescribed text and a variety of supplementary texts of. To explore the basic human need to belong to or choose certain groups and to examine some of the stated and unstated purposes of those groups.
In this lesson, students will look at group behaviors, dynamics, and purpose. As part of this process, students will acquire the basic skills to survey. About us. John Benjamins Publishing Company is an independent, family-owned academic publisher headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
More. This essay is going to argue that there is an actual connection between citizenship, belonging and identity in a state. To begin with, there should be a brief definition of what citizenship means. This essay delves deeply into the origins of the Vietnam War, critiques U.S.
justifications for intervention, examines the brutal conduct of the war, and discusses the . The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on Purdue's campus.