In this eagerly awaited second volume, N. T. Wright offers a penetrating assessment of the major scholarly contributions to the current ‘quest’ for the historical Jesus. He then sets out in fascinating detail of his own compelling account of how Jesus himself understood his mission: how he believed himself called to remake Israel, the people of God, around himself; how he announced God’s judgment on the Israel of his day, especially its Temple and hierarchy; and how he saw his own movement as the divinely ordained fulfillment of Israel’s destiny. This revolutionary message, articulated in parables and acted out symbolically in healings and celebratory meals, drew Jesus to Jerusalem—where, as he came to realize, his vocation demanded that he would die the death he had announced for the people. In obedience to this vocation, Jesus had come to realize that he was claiming to do and be what, in Jewish thought, only God can do and be.
N. T. Wright [is] one of the most formidable of traditionalist Bible scholars.
—Richard N. Ostling, Time magazine
With this brilliant and thoroughly argued book, N. T. Wright has established himself as the leading British Jesus scholar of his generation. He thinks we can know quite a bit about the aims and beliefs of Jesus—not just about what he said and did but about the mind of Jesus himself.
—Marcus Borg, author of Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time
Tom Wright’s bold and brilliant book challenges us to rethink everything we thought we knew about the Jesus of history. Wright masterfully surveys the field of research on Jesus and proposes a fresh account of Jesus as a first-century Jewish apocalyptic prophet. . . . The result? A portrait of Jesus that situates him firmly ‘on the ground’ in the politics of first-century Judaism while integrating the data of the Gospel traditions in original and surprising ways. Wright’s sweeping hypothesis, presented in delightful lucid prose, sets a benchmark for all subsequent investigations of the historical Jesus.
—Richard B. Hays, Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina
N. T. Wright commonly known as N. T. Wright or Tom Wright, is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Andrews University. Previously, he was the bishop of Durham. He has researched, taught, and lectured on the New Testament at McGill, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities, and has been named by Christianity Today as one of the top five theologians in the world. He is best known for his scholarly contributions to the historical study of Jesus and the New Perspective on Paul. His work interacts with the positions of James Dunn, E. P. Sanders, Marcus Borg, and Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Wright has written and lectured extensively around the world, authoring more than forty books and numerous articles in scholarly journals and popular periodicals. He is best known for his Christian Origins and the Question of God Series, of which four of the anticipated six volumes are finished.
“The point at issue was not that Jesus was offering forgiveness where the rabbis were offering self-help moralism. The point is that Jesus was offering the return from exile, the renewed covenant, the eschatological ‘forgiveness of sins’—in other words, the kingdom of god. And he was offering this final eschatological blessing outside the official structures, to all the wrong people, and on his own authority. That was his real offence.” (Page 272)
“Forgiveness of sins is another way of saying ‘return from exile’.” (Page 268)
“The reformers had very thorough answers to the question ‘why did Jesus die?’; they did not have nearly such good answers to the question ‘why did Jesus live?’” (Page 14)
“The underlying argument of this book is that the split is not warranted: that rigorous history (i.e. open-ended investigation of actual events in first-century Palestine) and rigorous theology (i.e. open-ended investigation of what the word ‘god’, and hence the adjective ‘divine’, might actually refer to) belong together, and never more so than in discussion of Jesus.” (Page 8)
“This means that Jesus’ healing miracles must be seen clearly as bestowing the gift of shalom, wholeness, to those who lacked it, bringing not only physical health but renewed membership in the people of yhwh.” (Page 192)