Jesus of Nazareth: what He wanted, who He was - Gerhard Lohfink
A Michael Glazier Book published by Liturgical Press
Новая книга по историческому Иисусу, на английском языке
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1 The So-Called Historical Jesus
Chapter 2 The Proclamation of the Reign of God
Chapter 3 The Reign of God and the People of God
Chapter 4 The Gathering of Israel
Chapter 5 The Call to Discipleship
Chapter 6 The Many Faces of Being Called
Chapter 7 Jesus’ Parables
Chapter 8 Jesus and the World of Signs
Chapter 9 Jesus’ Miracles
Chapter 10 Warning about Judgment
Chapter 11 Jesus and the Old Testament
Chapter 12 Jesus and the Torah
Chapter 13 The Life of Jesus: Living Unconditionally
Chapter 14 The Fascination of the Reign of God
Chapter 15 Decision in Jerusalem
Chapter 16 Dying for Israel
Chapter 17 His Last Day
Chapter 18 The Easter Events
Chapter 19 Jesus’ Sovereign Claim
Chapter 20 The Church’s Response
Chapter 21 The Reign of God: Utopia?
There are innumerable books about Jesus. The reason is obvious: we can never finish with him, and every age must encounter him anew. Some of the many Jesus books are very good. Some are very bad. The bad ones are bad because they are far from understanding that the real “historical Jesus” cannot be grasped independently of faith in him. Which faith? That of the first witnesses and those who handed on the story, those who had to describe “accurately” or, better, “faithfully to the person” what had encountered them in Jesus.
Historical criticism is indispensable to research on Jesus. It illuminates the world in which Jesus lived, and still more, it works out the relationships among the sources of the gospels, illuminates the various layers of tradition, and thus sharpens our perception of what the evangelists wanted to say about Jesus in their “final text.” Historical criticism inquires persistently about what happened, and thus it demonstrates that Christianity is about real history and not about myths or ideologies. But when biblical critics measure Jesus only by their own prior understanding, deciding ahead of time what is “historically possible” and what is “historically impossible,” they exceed their own limitations.
Nowadays Jesus is far too often made to be merely a prophet, a gifted charismatic, a radical social revolutionary, a successful healer, a benevolent social worker, or even only a pious rabbi. The real claim of what is shown and expressed in Jesus is set aside, and the inevitable consequence is the assertion that the early Christian communities “deified” him.
The present book refuses to join in such reductionism, which goes contrary to the perceptions of the first witnesses and those who handed on the tradition. Its method is altogether historical and critical—historical research must always be critical—but at the same time it agrees with Karl Barth’s statement in his commentary on Romans: “For me, historical criticism has to be more critical!”
This book intends to be serious about the fact that Jesus was a Jew and lived entirely in and out of Israel’s faith experiences, but at the same time he brought those experiences to their goal and fulfillment. Those who want to really understand Jesus and what he was cannot avoid allowing themselves to be drawn into this faith.
I desire nothing more than that this book will help many people today to approach the real Jesus by making critical distinctions and yet at the same time remaining open and full of trust.
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