Did Jesus Urge People to Repent?

Below is the third guest post by my colleague David Lambert, connected to his book How Repentance Became Biblical.  For many readers of the blog, this will be the most important and interesting of them all.  It deals with the historical Jesus.  Did Jesus tell people that they needed to repent?   You might think the answer is obvious….

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Did Jesus Preach Repentance?

In my past two posts, I argued that the concept of repentance, as we use it ...

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Jesus and the Son of Man

Over the past few weeks, as I have been talking about the rise of Jewish apocalypticism, in relation to the historical Jesus, a number of readers have asked me to explain what I think about the “Son of Man” in the sayings of Jesus Jesus.  Did Jesus call himself the son of man?  If so, what did he mean?  And if not, what did he mean?

As it turns out, these are some of the most complex, convoluted, and confounding questions ...

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Jesus’ Resurrection as an Apocalyptic Event

In my previous post I started to discuss the eschatological implications drawn by Jesus’ followers once they became convinced that he had been raised from the dead.  I pointed out that the very fact that they interpreted their visions of him as evidence of “resurrection” shows that they must have been apocalyptic Jews prior to his death (as I have argued on other grounds ad nauseum on the blog!).  And I also suggested two of the key conclusions they drew ...

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The Death of the Messiah for Salvation

In a previous post I argued that Christians invented the idea of a suffering messiah.  Because Jesus was (for them) the messiah, and because he suffered, therefore the messiah *had* to suffer.  That was clear and straightforward for the Christians.  They backed up their newly devised theology by appealing to Scripture, finding passages of the Bible where a righteous person suffered but was then vindicated by God, passages such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Psalm 69 and so on.   They ...

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Readers’ Mailbag: December 27, 2015

QUESTION:  [Bart has said:]  “Jesus must have been called the messiah during his lifetime, or it makes no sense that he would be called messiah after his death”:  [Comment:] By this line of reasoning, then surely one would conclude that Jesus was considered divine during his lifetime, else it makes no sense he would be considered divine after his death?

 

RESPONSE:  The first line in the question is a quotation of a view I have elaborated on the blog.  The logic, ...

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Jesus’ Claim to Be the Messiah

 

I’m afraid I have been sidetracked from my thread within a thread within a thread, but now want to get back to it.  This particular sub-sub-thread is about whether Jesus considered himself to be the Jewish messiah.  My view is that Yes he did.  But he meant something very specific by that, and it is not what most people (Christians and non-Christians) today mean by it.

Recall what I have tried to show thus far.  There were various expectations of what ...

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Readers’ Mailbag November 27, 2015

 

I hope everyone had a fulfilling (and fillingful) Thanksgiving!

Now it is time to answer some questions I have received over the past couple of weeks, in short rapid-fire order.   If you have a question you would like me to address, please ask it in a comment to this post.  I am keeping a list and deal with the questions, weekly, more or less in the order in which I receive them.   And I’m running low on questions!  So ask away!

 

 

QUESTION:  ...

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Another Problem with Calling Jesus the Messiah

I have been arguing that most Jews rejected Christian claims about Jesus because Jesus was just the *opposite* of what the messiah was expected to be.  The messiah was to be a figure of grandeur and power who would overthrow God’s enemies and set up a new kingdom on earth in which God’s will would prevail.  Jesus was and did none of that.  He was a lower-class peasant who was arrested, humiliated, tortured, and executed.  He didn’t destroy God’s enemies.  ...

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Jesus and the Messianic Prophecies

In my previous post I started to explain why, based on the testimony of Paul, it appears that most Jews (the vast majority) rejected the Christian claim that Jesus was the messiah.  I have to say, that among my Christian students today (most of them from the South, most of them from conservative Christian backgrounds), this continues to be a real puzzle.  They genuinely can’t figure it out.

In their view, the Old Testament makes a number of predictions about the ...

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The Jewish Messiah

In my previous post I began to discuss the understanding of Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, in the Gospel of Mark (this is a thread within a thread within a thread – but it doesn’t matter.  Each of these posts makes sense on their own).  I am trying to show that Mark portrayed Jesus as the Son of God (meaning:  the one who was in a particularly close relationship with God who was chosen by God to ...

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