The Incarnation: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Incarnation of the Son of God

By Stephen T. Davis; Daniel Kendall et al. | Go to book overview

3 Jesus' Self-Understanding

N. T. Wright


I Introduction (A): Today's Sitz Im Leben

As I prepared to write this short chapter on Jesus' self-understanding, three things happened to sharpen up in my mind both why it is necessary and what it is I want to say.

The first was a review of my book The Challenge of Jesus. 1 Amongst some generally encouraging remarks, the reviewer gave as his chief area of disagreement the following: 'I believe that Jesus had a much more developed self-awareness as the Son of God than Wright seems to indicate. I think Jesus' sense of oneness with the Father and sense of transcendent experience comes through in the Gospels whereas Wright depicts Jesus more as a man struggling to work out His own beliefs.' This is typical of the reaction I have had in some quarters to the thesis I proposed in Jesus and the Victory of God, chapter 13 , and in the fifth chapter of Challenge, which develops the same points in other ways and which forms more of the backdrop for the present paper. 2 My brief comment here is that, though one gets inured to these things, it is frustrating to be misunderstood at the very point where one had struggled to be clear.

The second incident was the arrival of a feature article in a major national newspaper in which the Roman Catholic writer gave a warm welcome to Geza Vermes' fourth book on Jesus. 3 The writer

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