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A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels
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A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels


Eerdmans 2016

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Winner of the Biblical Archaeology Society's 2017 Award for Best Book relating to the New Testament


Counterbalancing the recent trend toward early high Christology in such scholars as Richard Bauckham, Simon Gathercole, and Richard Hays, Kirk here thoroughly unpacks the humanity of Jesus as understood by Gospel writers whose language is rooted in the religious and literary context of early Judaism. Without dismissing divine Christologies out of hand, Kirk argues that idealized human Christology is the best way to read the Synoptic Gospels, and he explores Jesus as exorcist and miracle worker within the framework of his humanity.

With wide-ranging exegetical and theological insight that sheds startling new light on familiar Gospel texts, A Man Attested by God offers up-to-date, provocative scholarship that will have to be reckoned with.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Presents a comprehensive defense of the thesis that the Synoptic Gospels present Jesus not as divine but as an idealized human figure
  • Demonstrates the wealth of Jewish material focused on an ideal, glorious humanity and its significance for the Gospels' portrayal of Jesus


  • Idealized Human Figures in Early Judaism
  • Son of God as Human King
  • Son of Man as the Human One
  • Messiah Born and Raised
  • Lord of All Creation
  • Jesus and the Scriptures of Israel

Praise for the Print Edition

This may well be the most important book about New Testament Christology to appear in recent years. Written in an era when it has become increasingly popular to insist that Jesus is already depicted as a preexistent figure in the Synoptic Gospels—one who is absorbed into the ‘divine identity’ and thus at least hinted to be ‘fully God’—Daniel Kirk makes a persuasive case for viewing the depiction of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke as one of an idealized human figure. His argument is likely to stand the test of time and become a focal point for ongoing debates and new research in the years and decades to come.

—James McGrath, Butler University

In this important and timely study of the Synoptic Gospels, Daniel Kirk attacks the popular ‘divine Christology’ advocated in many recent studies, insisting, with ruthless logic, that the Synoptic evangelists consistently portray Jesus in ways reminiscent of Jewish traditions as an idealized human figure. He demonstrates how they pick up the language used of Adam, Moses, David, and the ‘one like a son of man,’ and present Jesus as God’s human representative on earth. Kirk’s study is not just negative, however, since the alternative ‘high’ Christology he advocates reminds us of the importance of Jesus’s humanity. Everyone concerned with the origins of Christian belief needs to take note of this work.

—Morna D. Hooker, University of Cambridge

Product Details

  • Title: A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels
  • Author: J.R. Daniel Kirk
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 655
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Jesus Studies

About J.R. Daniel Kirk

J.R. Daniel Kirk holds a PhD in New Testament from Duke University and has taught at North Carolina State University, St. Joseph’s University, Eastern College, and Fuller Theological Seminary. His previous books include Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? and Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition