Presentation on theme: "Chapter 2 Jesus of Nazareth. Questions to be addressed in this chapter 1.What can we know about Jesus of Nazareth? 2.Who was Jesus? 3.What did Jesus teach?"— Presentation transcript:
Questions to be addressed in this chapter 1.What can we know about Jesus of Nazareth? 2.Who was Jesus? 3.What did Jesus teach? 4.How did Jesus understand himself?
Searching for the Jesus of history The word “gospel” comes from the old English word godspell which meant “good news”; in the New Testament, the good news refers to the story of Jesus Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and teachings. “Gospel” also refers to the semi-biographical accounts of Jesus life, four of which are collected in the New Testament as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Who was Jesus? There is no doubt that there was a person named Jesus (or Yeshua in his native tongue of Aramaic) from the city of Nazareth in the early first century of the Common Era. It is this figure who is designated the Jesus of History by those who endeavor to learn as much as they can about him through rigorous historical methodology. Many of these same researchers claim that this historical figure was transformed into a fictional character by his early followers when they attributed to him all sorts of sayings and supernatural actions that never happened. The researchers find it helpful to refer to this fictional character as the Christ of Faith, whom they believe is the figure worshipped by Christians.
What did Jesus teach? The central theme of Jesus’ teaching is one that builds upon John the Baptist’s preaching: the reign and rule of God is about to be established, and indeed it has already been inaugurated. This was the hope of the Jewish people. The Sermon on the Mount is probably Jesus’ attempt to provide an alternative way of seeing the kingdom of God come and be enacted on earth.
Significant sayings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Mt 5:9). If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (5:39). Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (5:44). Do not judge or you too will be judged (7:1). Do to others as you would have them do to you (7:12).
How did Jesus understand himself? All four of the New Testament gospel writers regarded Jesus as the messiah, but it doesn’t seem to be a title that Jesus was particularly eager to embrace. The title Jesus preferred in the Gospels was “Son of Man.” In using the title “Son of Man,” Jesus was intentionally linking himself and his mission to the apocalyptic scene in the Old Testament book of Daniel.
Son of Man in the Old Testament Book of Daniel “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13)
Summary of Main Points 1. Although the primary texts about Jesus contain significant interpretive difficulties, it is reasonable to accept that we can learn about the historical Jesus from them. 2.Jesus of Nazareth was a Jewish itinerant teacher from the region of Galilee who was put to death by the Romans (at the instigation of the Jewish rulers); his followers believed that he was resurrected from the dead. 3.Jesus taught that there was a new way of seeing the kingdom of God come to earth. 4.Jesus believed himself to be specifically anointed by God to speak and act on his behalf and to rule in the new kingdom.