Quote of the day
*Provoke mode on*
He may not appeal to everybody (i.e. Jim West!), but I for one cannot help but be impressed by the architecture of his thinking - I have truly learnt a lot from him. Not only that, his individual exegetical work I find impressive and, in my humble opinion, usually precise (e.g. cf. his work on 1 Cor 8-10 in The Climax, one of the best to be written anywhere/anywhen on the subject). Who am I talking about? Tom-Greater-than-Bultmann-Wright, of course.
*Provoke mode off*
“the old picture of Jesus as the teacher of timeless truths, or even the announcer of the essentially timeless call for decision, will simply have to go. His announcement of the kingdom was a warning of imminent catastrophe, a summons to an immediate change of heart and direction of life, an invitation to a new way of being Israel. Jesus announced that the reign of Israel’s god, so long awaited, was now beginning; but, in the announcement and inauguration itself, he drastically but consistently redefined the concept of the reign of god itself. In the light of the Jewish background sketched in NTPG Part III, this cannot but have been heard as the announcement that the exile was at last drawing to a close, that Israel was about to be vindicated against her enemies, that her god was returning at last to deal with evil, to right wrongs, to bring justice to those who were thirsting for it like dying people in a desert. We are bound to say, I think, that Jesus could not have used the phrase ‘the reign of god’ if he were not in some sense or other claiming to fulfil, or at least to announce the fulfilment of, those deeply rooted Jewish aspirations. The phrase was not a novum, an invention of his own. It spoke of covenant renewed, of creation restored, of Israel liberated, of YHWH returning. It can be reduced neither to a general existential state of affairs, unrelated to Israel’s national hope, nor to a hypothetical ‘parousia’ hope (which the early church first invented, then cherished, then projected back on to Jesus, and then finally abandoned), nor to the offer of a new type of private spirituality”.
(N.T. Wright, JVG, 172)