By John P. Meier
John Meier’s past volumes within the acclaimed sequence A Marginal Jew are based upon the suggestion that whereas good historic information regarding Jesus is kind of restricted, humans of alternative faiths can however arrive at a consensus on basic ancient evidence of his lifestyles. during this eagerly expected fourth quantity within the sequence, Meier methods a clean topicthe teachings of the old Jesus referring to Mosaic legislation and moralitywith a similar rigor, thoroughness, accuracy, and insightfulness on show in his previous works. After correcting misconceptions approximately Mosaic legislations in Jesus’ time, this quantity addresses the lessons of Jesus on significant criminal subject matters like divorce, oaths, the Sabbath, purity principles, and many of the love commandments within the Gospels. What emerges from Meier’s study is a profile of a sophisticated first-century Palestinian Jew who, faraway from trying to abolish the legislations, was once deeply engaged in debates approximately its observance. merely via embracing this portrait of the historic Jesus grappling with questions of the Torah can we stay away from the typical mistake of making Christian ethical theology lower than the guise of learning Jesus and the Law,” the writer concludes.
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Additional resources for A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 4: Law and Love
The treatments of the Passion tradition by C. H. Dodd (Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel [Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1963] 21–151) and at much greater length by Raymond E. ; New York: Doubleday, 1994; reprint New Haven: Yale University Press]) offer, in my view, convincing arguments in favor of this position, especially in regard to the Passion tradition. The view that John is basically independent of the Synoptics has been reexamined historically and defended exegetically by D. ; Columbia: University of South Carolina, 2001); see esp.
37 Thus, it may not be purely by accident that Jubilees fiercely rejects a position that corresponds to the pragmatic legal ruling of the followers of Mattathias concerning war on the sabbath. Having stressed early on the tremendous holiness of the sabbath and the need for scrupulous observance of its rest (Jub. 2:17–33), the Book of Jubilees reaches its climax and conclusion in a list of prohibited actions on the sabbath (Jub. 50:7–12). Significantly, the very last of the prohibitions is against waging war on the sabbath (v 12).
For an understanding of the “real Jesus” that moves in the theological and christological rather than the historical realm, see Luke Timothy Johnson, The Real Jesus (San Francisco: Harper, 1996); cf. his Living Jesus (San Francisco: Harper, 1999). For example, on p. , A Marginal Jew, 1. 197. But, as I point out in that passage, there is another sense of “real,” proper to modern historical investigation (cf. A Marginal Jew, 1. 21–24), which Johnson seems unwilling to affirm in the special case of Jesus of Nazareth.