This is Tom Wright’s response to the wave of controversial books and theories on the historical Jesus. Responding to theories that Jesus was married, fathered children, divorced and then remarried, and other claims that the doctrine of the Virgin Birth has caused the oppression of women, Tom Wright outlines these arguments and presents solid reasons for discounting the theories.
Whilst he agrees that the real historical Jesus may have some surprises for the institutional Church, he reveals that these ‘quests’ for the real Jesus display many variations on the same themes and shows that these theories are not as novel as they are made out to be. Written from the standpoint of professional Biblical scholarship yet assuming no prior knowledge of the subject, Wright shows convincingly that much can be gained from rigorous historical assessment of what the Gospels’ themselves say about Jesus.
“First, what was Jesus’ relationship with the Judaism of his day?” (Page 17)
“One of the most obvious features of this ‘Third Quest’ has been the bold attempt to set Jesus firmly into his Jewish context.” (Page 13)
“Jesus believed himself called to go out ahead of Israel, to meet the judgment in her place, alone.” (Page 101)
“The strange thing about Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of God was that he managed both to claim that he was fulfilling the old prophecies, the old hopes, of Israel and to do so in a way which radically subverted them. The Kingdom of God is here, he seemed to be saying, but it’s not like you thought it was going to be.” (Page 98)
“Second, therefore, it meant a setting of mounting expectation” (Page 94)