NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY Vol. I by Joachim Jeremias


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This volume initiates a comprehensive study of the theology of the New Testament by one of the foremost German authorities in the field. The study opens with an examination of the problem of the trustworthiness of the Gospel reports of the sayings of Jesus, as the basis for understanding his life and thought. Two difficulties arise in connection with this problem: the fact that Jesus himself did not leave any written documents, and the possibility that new sayings were introduced into the oral tradition of this teaching, cast in the first person of Jesus as speaker. The attempt to deal with this problem in the past relied upon the ""criterion of dissimilarity""; but Jeremias finds this approach vulnerable as a serious source of error. He finds the distinguishing mark of Jesus's sayings to be derived from ""his power to create a new eschatological language."" In support of this claim, he analyzes the characteristics of the language (Aramaic), the style, and the unique forms that Jesus employed, such as parables, riddles, allusions to the reign of God, and the like. From this foundation, the study then takes up the main categories of the sayings as they deal with the mission of Jesus, the dawn of the time of salvation, the time of grace, the new people of God, and Jesus's own view of his mission. The final chapter examines the Easter tradition, taking note of divergences as these arose, when the sayings of Jesus presumably were ended. A thoroughly meticulous and informative work of immense scholarship, this book will be a requisite for scholars and for all serious students of the New Testament.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1971
Publisher: Scribners