cover image Pure Kingdom: Jesus' Vision of God

Pure Kingdom: Jesus' Vision of God

Bruce Chilton. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, $20 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-8028-4187-2

At the end of the 20th century, the number of books published exploring the life and work of Jesus has grown dramatically as scholars have embarked on a quest to discover the history of the shadowy figure lying behind the Gospels. Out of this search, Jesus has emerged variously as a Cynic philosopher, a Greek sage and an magical wonder worker. While many of these portraits of Jesus have been drawn using the brushes of anthropology and sociology, Chilton's study, the first volume in a new series called Studying the Historical Jesus, focuses on the Gospel texts themselves to uncover the central message of Jesus' life and teachings. Chilton first provides a panoramic survey of historical Jesus scholarship from Johannes Weiss to the Jesus Seminar, and he proceeds to dismantle what he perceives to be the faulty methods of much contemporary Jesus scholarship. Having cleared the way for his own arguments, Chilton combines historical and textual criticism with close exegetical readings of several Gospel narratives to argue that Jesus' words and deeds point to his identity as the one declaring and introducing the Kingdom of God. (Aug.)