I have been talking about the early Christian understandings of Jesus as the messiah – not just the messiah, but the “crucified messiah,” a concept that would have seemed not just unusual or bizarre to most Jewish ears in the first century, but absolutely mind-boggling and self-contradictory. I’ve been arguing that it was precisely the contradictory nature of the claim that led almost all Jews to reject the Christian claims about Jesus. Several readers have asked me whether I think Jesus understood himself to be the messiah. Probably those who know a *little* bit about my work and my general views of things would think that my answer would be Absolutely Not. But those who know a *lot* about my views will know that the answer is Yes Indeed. I think Jesus did consider himself the messiah. But not the to-be-crucified-messiah. The key to understanding Jesus’ view of himself is to recognize what he *meant* by considering himself the messiah. I will get to that in a later post. For now I want to give [...]
As I indicated in a post last week, on October 12-14, 2004 I gave the three Shaffer lectures at Yale University, on "Christ in the Early Christian Tradition: Texts Disputed and Apocryphal." This is the second of those lectures, dealing with Christ as a Divine man. (Again, the quality is not as high as we have come to expect over the past couple of years, because it was recorded originally on VHS. But it's been worked over to make it still pretty decent. Enjoy!) Please adjust gear icon for 720p High-Definition.