Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am?: An Investigation of the Accusations Against Jesus
Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am?: An Investigation of the Accusations Against Jesus

Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am?: An Investigation of the Accusations Against Jesus

in Library of New Testament Studies

by Darrell L. Bock, Scot McKnight, Joseph B. Modica, Michael F. Bird, Dwight D. Sheets, James F. McGrath, and Lynn H. Cohick

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Pages 188
Publisher T&T Clark
Published 2008
ISBN-13 9780567031266
This volume will unpack the seven allegations proposed by Scot McKnight in his article 'Calling Jesus Mamzer' in the inaugural volume of The Journal for the Historical Jesus (Volume 1.1 2003: 73-103).

Each essay will explore the historicity of each accusation and what they tell us about Jesus. McKnight and Modica propose that by examining these specific allegations, one can begin to comprehend a neglected dimension of historical Jesus studies, namely, that Jesus can be understood by what his opponents (critics) say of him. They contend that such an approach offers, as Malina and Neyrey have previously examined in Calling Jesus Names, a 'Christology from the side'.

There will be an introductory and concluding essay from the editors.

  • Table of Contents
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Contributors
  • Introduction - Scot McKnight; Joseph B. Modica
  • Jesus as Lawbreaker - Michael F. Bird
  • Jesus as Demon Possessed - Dwight D. Sheets
  • Jesus as Glutton and Drunkard - Joseph B. Modica
  • Jesus as Blasphemer - Darrell L. Bock
  • Jesus as False Prophet - James F. McGrath
  • Jesus as King of the Jews - Lynn H. Cohick
  • Jesus as Mamzer ("Illegitimate Son") - Scot McKnight
  • Index of Ancient Sources
  • Index of Subjects

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McKnight and Modica have authored two essays and gathered five others in an attempt to advance the discussion begun by Malina and Neyrey in Calling Jesus Names: The Social Value of Labels in Matthew (1988). The impetus for this work is the seven allegations against Jesus set forth by McKnight in “Calling Jesus Mamzer” (Journal for the Historical Jesus 1 [2003]: 73–103). The basic premise of the collection is that the followers of Jesus and the early Christian community would not have created fictive charges against Jesus that would serve only to demean and call into question the nature of his life and ministry as well as provide ammunition for the opponents of the early Christian movement. Consequently, such charges are presumed to have been attached to Jesus by his opponents. By analyzing these charges within the sociological/cultural/religious context of Second Temple Judaism in Palestine, the essays attempt to identify historically reliable aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry through the labeling by his opponents, aspects untainted by the overlay of the early Christian movement’s theologizing about Jesus. The seven “labels” addressed are: “Jesus as Law-Breaker” (Michael F. Bird), “Jesus as Demon Possessed” (Dwight D. Sheets), “Jesus as Glutton and Drunkard” (Modica), “Jesus as Blasphemer” (Darrell L. Bock), “Jesus as False Prophet” (James F. [Full Review]
Taking their cue from the question Jesus put to his disciples—“Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27 par.)—the editors of and contributors to Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am aim to get inside and behind the sociorhetorical accusations against the historical Jesus in order to do “Christology from the side.” Editor Scot McKnight is the Karl A. Olsson Professor of Religious Studies at North Park University in Chicago, and editor Joseph B. Modica is University Chaplain and Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. These scholars found five others willing to grapple with the rather prickly project implicit in the title of the book: Michael F. Bird of Highland Theological College in Dingwall, Scotland; Dwight D. Sheets of Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri; Darrell L. Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary; James F. McGrath of Butler University in Indianapolis; and Lynn H. Cohick of Wheaton College. Following a very brief introduction (one page) to the project by the editors, the seven contributors discuss, in turn, seven accusations against Jesus found in the Gospels. [Full Review]
Investigation of the Accusations against the Historical Jesus Library of New Testament Studies 327 London: T&T Clark, 2008. Pp. x + 175. Hardcover. $130.00. ISBN 0567031268. Samuel Lamerson Knox Theological Seminary Ft. Lauderdale, Florida There are certain times that all of us have the feeling: Why didn’t I think of that? The idea seems so simple and yet so brilliant that we wonder why it has not been thought of before. This was the thought when I first read Bruce J. Malina and Jerome H. Neyrey’s Calling Jesus Names: The Social value of Labels in Matthew’s Gospel and much more so when I read Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am? The concept of looking at Jesus through the lens of names that his enemies called him is brilliant in its simplicity. This work consists of an introduction and seven chapters. The chapters are modeled on the seven names that McKnight discovered in an earlier version of the paper that constitutes his chapter of the book. Needless to say, some chapters are stronger than others, but all add to the current historical Jesus discussion by taking what has come to be called a “sideways look” at Jesus. In the introduction McKnight and Modica state that they believe that what was so deftly started by Malina and Neyrey can be taken even further by widening the examination outside of the book of Matthew and looking at other “accusations” about Jesus in the Gospels. [Full Review]
Investigation of the Accusations against the Historical Jesus Library of New Testament Studies 327 London: T&T Clark, 2008. Pp. x + 175. Hardcover. $130.00. ISBN 0567031268. Stephan Witetschek University of Cambridge Cambridge, United Kingdom Bei der Rückfrage nach dem historischen Jesus hat sich das Kriterium der „Unerfindbarkeit“ (oder: Peinlichkeit) als relativ leistungsfähig erwiesen: Als authentisch gelten demnach die Worte und Taten Jesu, die christliche Autoren ihm kaum von sich aus zugeschrieben hätten, oder die ihnen merkliche theologische Schwierigkeiten bereiteten. Dieses Kriterium lenkt das Augenmerk nicht zuletzt auf die Polemik gegen Jesus, wie sie in den Evangelien dokumentiert ist. Eine Untersuchung dazu—auf der Ebene des Matthäusevangeliums—liegt seit 1988 mit der oft zitierten Studie „Calling Jesus Names“ von Bruce J. Malina und Jerome H. Neyrey (Sonoma, CA: Polebridge) vor. Der hier zu besprechende Band ist als kritische Auseinandersetzung mit dieser Studie gedacht—allerdings auf der Ebene des historischen Jesus. Der erste Beitrag von Michael F. Bird (3–26) befasst sich mit dem Vorwurf, Jesus sei ein Gesetzesbrecher. Der Fokus wird jedoch alsbald aus Platzgründen eingeengt auf die Speisegebote und schließlich auf die Auslegung von Mk 7,1–23. Das große Problem besteht darin, eine radikale Aussage wie Mk 7,19 mit der grundsätzlichen Torah-Observanz Jesu zusammenzudenken. [Full Review]