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The deliberately puzzling sayings of Jesus pose both historical and theological problems. When Jesus said that we must hate our father and mother to be his disciple or that if we only had a tiny amount of faith we could move a mountain, there is the historical problem of what he could possibly have meant and why he chose to express himself so strangely. There is also the theological problem of how Christians are to apply this material today. Do such statements make sense in our own lives, and should Christians today imitate Jesus in speaking in enigmas?
In the following brief book we will begin by tackling the historical problem of Jesus’s enigmatic speech. We will consider some of the many possible approaches to understanding Jesus’s puzzling rhetoric, and examine the limitations of them. Then I will outline what I think is the most fruitful approach and illustrate it by using it to interpret a series of strange sayings of Jesus.
Dominican University of California
San Rafael, CA
New Testament, paradox, hard sayings of Jesus
Biblical Studies | Christianity | Religion
Sinclair, Scott Gambrill, "Jesus, Mark, Paul, and John Said WHAT? The Evolution of Deliberately Puzzling Material in the New Testament" (2015). Faculty Books. 78.