November 27, 2011

Bauckham on Jesus (QOTD)

From the final paragraphs of Chapter 6 in Richard Bauckham's Jesus: A Very Short Introduction:
Could Jesus act with fully divine authority and exercise the divine prerogative of giving life, while being himself no more than a human servant of God? No, because in Jewish theology such prerogatives belong uniquely to God and cannot simply be delegated to someone else. They help to define who God is. Hence, even in the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus' claims to divine authority - to forgive sins or to share God's universal sovereignty - are regarded as blasphemy by Pharisees and chief priests. ...
And the payoff...
The only Jesus we can plausibly find in the sources is a Jesus who, though usually reticent about it, speaks and acts for God in a way that far surpassed the authority of a prophet in the Jewish tradition. His opponents recognized this. Probably a lifetime of pondering it led to John's theologically creative interpretation of it. To do his Gospel justice, we must see that he is engaged, not in free creation, but in creative interpretation of the same Jesus the other Gospels, in their more restrained ways, also interpret.
(Italics by Bauckham).

Well said, I do believe.  Any questions?

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