Was Jesus Preaching A Spiritual Message?

1522 Words Jan 28th, 2016 7 Pages
Historical Jesuses
Anthony Hengst
January 29th, 2016

Was Jesus actually preaching a spiritual message? The question firmly divides Jesus historians. If Christ intended to be a religious figure, was it as the Messiah of a religion that roughly shared the same face as modern Christianity, as an inspired sage of peaceful humanism, or as the prophet of a apocalyptic Judaic cult? If Jesus was not trying to start a religion, where did Christianity come from? Who first called Jesus God? The answers to these question define the modern quest for the historical Jesus.
Among scholars who agree that Jesus’s mission was spiritual in focus, views are diverse. Some scholars “[assume] the presence of the supernatural in the life of Jesus” while others believe the historical question of what Jesus was must be approached as if he were just another man. This difference is that of the high versus the low Christologists--those who believe Jesus should be studied as God and those who believe Jesus should be studied as human. Although certain scholars such as Robert Stein and Luke Johnson argue that an honest historical examination must lead to high Christology, the quest for the historical Jesus is typically associated with low Christology.
For low Christologists in studying what they believe was the spiritually-motivated historical Jesus, little emphasis is placed upon determining whether or not Jesus himself ever claimed godhood. Since even the earliest church believed that Jesus…
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