Miscellaneous Historical Jesus

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    Bailey, Kenneth E.

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    Jesus as a Metaphorical Theologian and the Rabbinic World

    "In summary, Jesus was a master in the use of metaphor, parable and dramatic action. His audiences were often composed of scribes and Pharisees. The reader of the Gospels needs to be aware that when a scholarly audience is specifically mentioned, it can be assumed that a sophisticated scholarly exchange is underway. When this assumption is made, new perceptions of Jesus and his message emerge."
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    Dunn, James D.G.

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    Jesus for Today

    "What difference does Jesus of Nazareth make for Christian faith and life? The question directs us to the Jesus who came from Nazareth in Galilee, who preached and healed in the land of Israel during the late twenties or early thirties of the first century, and who was crucified in Jerusalem at the order of the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate. We can include the firm Christian belief that this Jesus was raised from the dead three days later...[I]t is important...that we give particular attention to the Jesus of Galilee, to the thirty-year focus of his life and the three-year focus of his ministry. For if we cannot speak meaningfully of that Jesus, then whatever else we want to say of the post-Easter Jesus will be that less meaningful. A Christ of faith who does not fit with Jesus of Nazareth is that much less capable of commanding the assent of faith."
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    Liefeld, Walter L.

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    The Hellenistic "Divine Man" and the Figure of Jesus in the Gospels

    "Students of the history of religion have long been aware of the similarity between certain aspects of the figure of Christ in the Gospel narratives and Hellenistic portrayals of apotheosized figures. These include extraordinarily gifted men, perhaps miracle workers, healers, or wise men, who are grouped under the general designation of theios aner, or 'divine man.' Attention has increasingly centered in the past several years on the theios aner as a type with which, it is alleged, Jesus was identified in some of the early sources of the Gospels. It is our purpose here to survey briefly some of the recent contributions to our knowledge of this figure, and then to suggest approaches to some of the issues raised with respect to the Gospels."
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    Mare, W. Harold

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    Teacher and Rabbi in the New Testament Period

    "Joseph Klausner observed that Graetz holds the view that the name rabbi used in the Gospels is an anachronism, the reason for this conclusion being given, as Goodenough observes, 'because it does not follow later rabbinic usage,' the anachronism lying 'in taking the later rabbinic usage as valid in the early period since for this period we have only the New Testament to certify. 'Of course we do not accept as necessarily valid such a conclusion even if the New Testament were to present the only known evidence, on the grounds that other evidence might be forthcoming. As a matter of fact, we believe there is other evidence from contemporary literature and archaeology to verify the accuracy of the New Testament picture of a Rabbi-teacher-pupil complex in the early part of the first century A. D."