Christology and the
Words of Jesus
MOTIFS FROM THE sayings material, especially Jesus' teaching and preaching, tell us more than a little about his self-understanding. We will first consider the distinctive ways Jesus spoke and the ways he handled Scripture. In particular we will examine Jesus' rather unique way of relating Scripture to his own experience, his use of Amen as a means of confirmation of the truth of his own remarks, and finally his discussion of the Christ using a form of expression that might be called haggadic. This will be followed by a detailed discussion of abba, filial consciousness, and finally the Son of man material.
C. H. Dodd once urged students of the New Testament to observe that although the Gospels were written under the influence of a “high” Christology, nonetheless they all represent Jesus as a teacher with a circle of disciples.1 Actually, this should not be surprising. After all, there is an overlap in what a teacher, a prophet, or even a leader of a messianic movement would do in early Judaism; one commonality would be to convey a message that one felt God would have God's people know.
Doubtless, Jesus was perceived to be a great teacher by his intimates and others, and thus he was honored with terms of respect like Rabbouni, Rabbi, or just Teacher. The evidence for these forms of addressing Jesus is found
1 Dodd, “Jesus,” 53–66.