Scripture, the Gospels, and Christology Jesus Essay

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Brown (1994) offers an astute Christological analysis via a close and critical reading of scripture. A close reading allows for the contextualization of each Gospel, to resolve issues like conflicting or inconsistent imagery and anecdotes. With inconsistencies between the Gospels, it becomes imperative to piece together Jesus's core intentions and the meanings behind both His words and His actions. The need to understand scripture historically and linguistically is also apparent in the Brown analysis. In fact, Brown (1994) also points out the importance of historical and cultural context in interpreting Scripture. For example, attributions of "magical action," which is beyond "miracle," corresponds with the Greek "miracle worker" stories during the time Scripture was being codified (Brown, 1994, p. 35). Brown notes that the Gospel portrayal of Jesus's miracles was indeed qualitatively different from either magical powers attributed to Greek "miracle workers" or to similar Levantine pagan concepts.

It may also be difficult to discern Jesus's intent based on words and actions coded in scripture because of the extraordinary nature of scripture -- scripture was not designed to be historiographical. Even if the gospels are Christographical, their authors purposely constructed Jesus even while attempting to relatively accurately account for His teachings, sayings, and actions.

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Scripture also implies Jesus had "limited knowledge of the ordinary affairs of life," which could mean several things: that Jesus actually did experience a unique life divorced from "ordinary affairs" or alternatively, that the authors of the Gospels elevated the personage of Christ to superhuman level on purpose (Brown, 1994, p. 35). Either way, the Brown (1994) critical analysis of Scripture is essential within the context of Christology. If Jesus had little knowledge of ordinary affairs, then ordinary readers will not have an easy time viewing Jesus as a historical personage. If, however, Jesus did have more knowledge of ordinary affairs than the authors of the gospels let on, then Jesus would be humanized to a greater degree than some Christians may be comfortable with. Perceiving Jesus's intentions -- intentions of his own story as well as theological intentions -- may be all but impossible given that the apostles were responsible for recording Jesus's actions and words, and those recordings were influenced by issues like language, culture, and even potentially personal biases.

Likewise, Rausch (2017) points out that the sayings of Jesus are not even "from Jesus himself," (p. 77). Projecting….....

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Brown, R. (1994). Introduction to New Testament Christology. New York. Paulist.

Rausch, T. P. (2017). Who is Jesus: An Introduction to Christology. Collegeville, MN Liturgical Press.

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