Chapter

Jesus of Nazareth as Starting-Point

John Reumann

in Variety and Unity in New Testament Thought

Published in print July 1991 | ISBN: 9780198262015
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682285 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262015.003.0004

Series: Oxford Bible Series

Jesus of Nazareth as Starting-Point

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To choose a starting-point amid the pluralism of the New Testament canon is no easy task, whether the approach is ‘historical’ or ‘theological’ or both. In terms of the literary references, Jesus is the chief figure in or behind all New Testament writings, along with God. Jesus was the Lord presented in the gospels, from whom was derived what Paul and John said. But as the pendulum swung and critical scholars questioned how much, even in the synoptics, really was from Jesus, a position at the opposite pole emerged. The topic of Christology with regard to the historical Jesus hovers between the principle that ‘Jesus preached God and not himself’. To oversimplify some much-debated areas, it is suggested that Jesus, who lived a life of service to others and spoke as a prophet of God, did not himself use the title of ‘servant’ or welcome that of ‘messiah’.

Keywords: Jesus; New Testament; pluralism; gospels; Christology; messiah

Chapter.  3290 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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