God's Final Envoy: Early Christology and Jesus' Own View of His Mission
Many have claimed to be able to present a startling new picture of Jesus. Yet, in spite of loud claims to the contrary, practically all we can know about him comes from the first three New Testament Gospels or can be inferred from statements in Paul's letters. In this intriguing study, Marinus de Jonge canvasses these earliest Christian responses to Jesus in an attempt to discover Jesus' own understanding of himself and his mission. Steering a middle course between skepticism and absolute confidence regarding the reliability and the usefulness of what we know about Jesus from the early Christian sources, de Jonge carefully distinguishes between what seems certain, probable, and possible, and he argues that though we cannot fill in all the details, it is possible to present a picture of what was most characteristic of Jesus.