I have been providing necessary background to the question of whether Jesus could have considered himself the messiah, and have done so by trying to situate him in the world of first century Jewish apocalyptic thinking. We now need to move to a summary of Jesus’ teaching given that apocalyptic framework.
We could obviously have a year-long thread on the topic of what it was Jesus taught during his itinerant preaching ministry. Many people have written very long books on the subject – and the books just keep comin’ out. If you want a more extended discussion of my views on the matter, you can see my book Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. I include bibliography of other works to consult. For my money, among the best and most influential have been John Meier, E. P. Sanders, Dale Allison, and Paula Fredriksen – all of whom agree that Jesus is best understood as an apocalyptic preacher.
Here let me summarize under several rubrics what I think we can say with reasonable reliability about Jesus’ preaching:
The Kingdom of God: Jesus’ preaching was principally about the coming Kingdom of God. Like other Jewish apocalypticists, Jesus did not mean by “Kingdom of God” what…
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