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Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 2) Paperback – August 1, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
Wright's thesis, for all his conservatism, is both bold and distinctive. He holds to an "eschatological" Jesus, one who has a future aspect to his theology and also one who, in Crossan-like ways, has compassion for the poor and the outcast of Palestinian society in his acts of healing and eating. Wright though, in distinction from Crossan and the Jesus Seminar, is, it seems, looking to give an historical account of the historical Jesus which can dovetail nicely with a more traditional reading of the Synoptic Gospels and the New Testament more generally. In this book you will not find a plethora of references to either the Gospel of Thomas or to the Q Gospel. Instead, you will find historical argument, replete with numerous biblical and extra-biblical Jewish quotations and texts, which aims to build up a picture of a Jewish prophet and more than a prophet. This does not, in my opinion, spill over into worship or sycophancy but the argument is carefully pitched so as not to upturn too many applecarts. One might almost call it "historical evangelism" but I hope that by using that term readers wil not think that this book is either crassly evangelistic or proselytizing; it is neither.Read more ›
Traditional scholarly criteria for determining the authenticity of Jesus material primarily utilizes the criterion of similarity (if it was the same or similar to his environment it was not authentic) and dissimilarity (if it was not something found in his environment it was authentic). Wright, as many other scholars finds these to be insufficient and arbitrary. The probability is that Jesus was both like and unlike contemporary Judiasm and the early Christian community, which is to say that there must be both continuity and discontinuity between Jesus and Judaism and the the early community.
In his first volume to the series, The New Testament and the People of God, Wright has laid out the worldview of 2nd temple Judaism, as well as that of the earliest Christian community. In the present volune, Wright sets the Jesus material in this context.
C.K. Barrett once stated that after years of study he was now reluctant to claim that the synoptics portrayed Jesus as Messiah. Wright, by setting Jesus in the context of the Judaism of his day, finds such a claim on virtually every page. Instead of focusing, as traditional scholarship has done, on individual words, phrases, forms, etc., or on explicit testimony, he shows that the symbols and stories everywhere portray Jesus as the eschatological prophet and Messiah of Israel, who speaks and acts for YHWH and embodies the coming of YHWH as King.Read more ›
Wright's approach has many virtues. He is intimately familiar with an incredible amount of scholarly literature on the subject, and refers to it in a way that is always thoughtful. He seldom arbitrarily discards evidence merely because it doesn't fit his theory, as many do. His favorite critical device is what he calls the principle of "double similarity, double disimilarity." He shows that, while most of the synoptic material makes sense both within the Jewish community, and as the template for the new Christian religion, it also differs from both traditions in ways that strongly suggest the marks of individuality, that neither ordinary Jews nor Christians would have invented for Jesus.
This is a helpful approach, in my opinion, though not so unique as Wright seems to think. Readers with literary or psychological sensitivity have been making similiar, less systematic but sometimes even more insightful, observations for a long time. See, for example, G. K. Chesterton (Everlasting Man), Philip Yancey (The Jesus I Never Knew), M. Scott Peck, Per Beskow (Strange Tales About Jesus) or C. S. Lewis (Fernseeds and Elephants -- an essay Wright scoffs at, but that grows in my estimation the more I read of modern Biblical criticism). I think any reader can discern the unique style of Jesus in the Gospels. To a certain extent, Wright is just approaching the unique character of Jesus' sayings in a more formal, and less intuitive, manner.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is no scholar that I've read who can explain the religious environment of the early Christian era as well as N.T. Wright. This volume which is a part of a 4 (5? Read morePublished 4 months ago by mtp
PERFECT! Product just as expected. Fast shipping. Great price.Published 6 months ago by Fred Johnson
An essential book for anyone interested in the historical Jesus; he carefully avoids metaphysical assumptions, either atheistic or Christian, almost buries you in documentation,... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
N.T. Wright is by far one of my favorite theologians. In this second volume of his magnum opus, Christian Origins and the Question of God, he does not disappoint. Read morePublished 10 months ago by nathantlz
Challenging reading, but very worthwhile.
Wright is making a solid and positive contribution to the world of Christian theology in a secular age.
This is without doubt, the best book in the entire series. I got this while studying at Oxford - and when it comes to preaching on the gospels, I found it better than any bible... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dr Simon Perry (author of Atheism After Christendom)
This book is like a text book. The book has so much information within it. There are many references for further study. N.T. Read morePublished 13 months ago by EmmyLou Hock