SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

Jesus According to the New Testament

Eerdmans. Jan. 2019. 192p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780802876690. pap. $20. REL
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Dunn (emeritus, New Testament, Univ. of Durham; Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels) invites readers to ponder what Jesus meant to the various New Testament writers. He begins by outlining Jesus's own self-appraisal and considers the commonalities in interpretations of Jesus throughout the Scriptures. Dunn then moves on to the Synoptic Gospels, pointing out distinct features of each (e.g., Luke's emphasis on Jesus's character, Matthew's focus on Jesus as rabbi). In John, as well as in Hebrews, he observes an increased emphasis on Jesus being viewed in Christological terms and a deemphasis on the sacraments and priesthood. Dunn further reviews Acts, the epistles of Paul (including the disputed letters), the general epistles, and Revelation, developing not so much a composite sketch of Christ but an evolving mosaic.
VERDICT Those seeking insight into who Jesus really was are likely to be disappointed. Instead, Dunn asks readers to grapple with his subject as a locus of meaning to those who encountered him firsthand and later through the Good News.

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