Who was Jesus? A prophet? There have been many of those. A miracle-worker? A radical revolutionary? A wise teacher? There have been many of these, too. In his latest book, renowned Scripture scholar Gerhard Lohfink asks, What is unique about Jesus of Nazareth, and what did he really want?
Lohfink engages the perceptions of the first witnesses of his life and ministry and those who handed on their testimony. His approach is altogether historical and critical, but he agrees with Karl Barth's statement that "historical criticism has to be more critical."
Lohfink takes seriously the fact that Jesus was a Jew and lived entirely in and out of Israel's faith experiences but at the same time brought those experiences to their goal and fulfillment. The result is a convincing and profound picture of Jesus.
Gerhard Lohfink was professor of New Testament exegesis at the University of Tübingen. His many books include No Irrelevant Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, Is This All There Is?, and The Our Father, all from Liturgical Press.
6 x 9 x 3/4 Publication Date:01/26/2015
Gerhard Lohfink masterfully fuses historical-critical and theological exegesis to both apologetic and catechetical ends. . . . This important book raises anew the complex fundamental-theological issue of the relationships among faith, belief, and historical reason. Without wholly endorsing Lohfink's position, one may find bracing the challenge he offers to several truisms of contemporary historical exegesis. Further, he teases out the intertextuality among the Old Testament, Jesus, and the New Testament with dazzling finesse. His construction of the eschatological community intended by Jesus invites ecclesiological discussion. Most significantly, he rebuffs supersessionism with a portrait of Jesus as an authoritative and critical interpreter of Torah. Finally, his sensitivity to the theology of the Evangelists provides a resource for Christian spirituality. This is a book worth engaging.
William P. Loewe, Catholic University of America, Horizons