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A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume II - Meier, John P. - Yale University Press
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The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume II

Mentor, Message, and Miracles

  • John P. Meier
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This book is the second volume in John Meier's masterful trilogy on the life of Jesus. In it he continues his quest for the answer to the greatest  puzzle of modern religious scholarship: Who was  Jesus? To answer this Meier imagines the following  scenario: "Suppose that a Catholic, a  Protestant, a Jew, and an agnostic were locked up in the  bowels of the Harvard Divinity School library... and  not allowed to emerge until they had hammered out  a consensus document on who Jesus of Nazareth was  and what he intended...". A Marginal  Jew is what Meier thinks that document  would reveal. Volume one concluded with Jesus  approaching adulthood. Now, in this volume, Meier  focuses on the Jesus of our memory and the development  of his ministry. To begin, Meier identifies  Jesus's mentor, the one person who had the greatest  single influence on him, John the Baptist. All of the  Baptist's fiery talk about the end of time had a  powerful effect on the young Jesus and the  formulation of his key symbol of the coming of the  "kingdom of God." And, finally, we are given a  full investigation of one of the most striking  manifestations of Jesus's message: Jesus's practice  of exorcisms, hearings, and other miracles. In all,  Meier brings to life the story of a man, Jesus,  who by his life and teaching gradually made himself  marginal even to the marginal society that was  first century Palestine.

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