Other Key Sayings

Anna Wierzbicka

in What Did Jesus Mean?

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137330
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867905 | DOI:
Other Key Sayings

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Offers new interpretations of many of Jesus’ most memorable sayings, bringing into sharper focus their originality, often obscured in the literature by various superficial parallels. For example, drawing on Clement of Alexandria and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the chapter argues for the following interpretation of the saying “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing:” (1) Sometimes when a person is doing something good for other people this person thinks: “I am doing something good for other people”(2) It will not be good if you think like this when you are doing something good for other people.

By using simple and universal human concepts, the chapter establishes the originality of Jesus’ “Golden Rule,” often mistakenly presented as something recurring in many different religious traditions. It also offers new interpretations of key sayings like, for example, “Do not judge . . . ,” “Ask and it will be given to you,” and “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”

Keywords: Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Clement of Alexandria; left hand; originality of Jesus’ Golden Rule; superficial parallels

Chapter.  52840 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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