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The People's Jesus: Trajectories in Early Christianity
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The People's Jesus: Trajectories in Early Christianity


Fortress Press 2011

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Seeking the patterns of thought that shaped early beliefs about Jesus as the Christ, the late Robin Scroggs explores the social settings that sparked the primary Christological themes and traces their trajectories through the literature that made up the New Testament.

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Key Features

  • Provides a look at the people that served alongside the famous followers of Christ through the text of the Gospels
  • Delves into the beliefs of the average believer in the early stages of Christianity
  • Explores the language in New Testament text to discover the meaning behind the words, “what experience lies behind the language?”
  • Argues that experiences are a legitimate data source for theological inquiry


  • Part I: Jesus in the Popular Piety of the Early Churches
    • The Cosmocrator Trajectory
    • The Son of Man Trajectory: Early Stages
    • The Christos Trajectory
    • The Fate of Christos in the Hellenistic Church
    • The Three Trajectories: What’s at Stake for Believers
  • Part II: Jesus in the New Testament Writings
    • The Synoptic Gospels and the Three Trajectories
    • Paul and the Cosmocrator Trajectory
    • The Cosmocrator Trajectory in Colossians and Ephesians
    • Hebrews and the Cosmocrator Trajectory
    • Theology and Politics: Acts and Revelation
    • The Gospel and First Epistle of John and the Three Trajectories

Praise for the Print Edition

Robin Scroggs’ The People’s Jesus asks one of the most crucial and strangely neglected questions for the study of the early Jesus movement: how did the vision and beliefs of the Jesus movement appeal to the ordinary believer and why did they find them meaningful? By tracing three trajectories—the identifications of Jesus as the Cosmocrator, as the apocalyptic judge, and as the miracle–working Christos—Scroggs is able to construct a conceptual map that encompasses the core vision of the documents of the New Testament. This volume is full of deep learning, balanced judgment, and an extraordinary effort to discern coherent structures permeating earliest Christianity.

John S. Kloppenborg, professor, department of religion, University of Toronto

Product Details

  • Title: The People’s Jesus: Trajectories in Early Christianity
  • Author: Robin Scroggs
  • Editor: Marshall D. Johnson
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 240

About Robin Scroggs

Robin Scroggs was the Edward Robinson Professor of Biblical Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York. His books include Paul for a New Day, The New Testament and Homosexuality, Christology in Paul and John, and The Text and the Times: New Testament Essays for Today.