Contrary to the claims of the “Jesus Seminar,” Jesus is best understood as delivering an apocalyptic message – or so I began to argue in my previous post, where I explained that all the earliest Gospel sources independently record Jesus delivering apocalyptic teachings.
Equally interesting, some of the most clearly apocalyptic traditions come to be “toned down” as we move further away from Jesus’ life in the 20s to Gospel materials produced near the end of the first century. Sources closest to Jesus: apocalyptic; sources further removed in time (as the end doesn’t come) less apocalyptic. And then non-apocalyptic. Eventually