Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission

Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission

Hardback Library of New Testament Studies

By (author) Michael F. Bird

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  • Publisher: T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 226 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 234mm x 22mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 11 January 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 0567044734
  • ISBN 13: 9780567044730
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,300,894

Product description

Bird argues that Jesus was attempting to achieve and enact the restoration of Israel, and in continuity with other strands of Jewish belief, Jesus conceived of the restoration of Israel as resulting in the salvation of the gentiles. Jesus' mission was Israel-centric, but he espoused a view of restoration that was indebted to certain strands of Israel's sacred traditions where the gentiles are implicit beneficiaries of Israel's salvation. Since this restoration was already being partially realized in Jesus' ministry, it was becoming possible for gentiles to begin sharing in Israel's salvation in the present. Additionally, Jesus understood himself and his followers to be the new temple and the vanguard of the restored Israel who would appropriate for themselves the role of Israel and the temple in being a light to the nations. Thus, a gentile mission has its germinal roots in the aims and intentions of Jesus and was developed in a transformed situation by adherents of the early Christian movement.

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Author information

Dr. Michael Bird (Ph.D, University of Queensland, Australia) teaches New Testament and Greek at Highland Theological College in Scotland, UK. He has published in several different academic journals including Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Currents in Biblical Research, Bulletin for Biblical Research, Tyndale Bulletin, Westminster Theological Journal, Trinity Journal, and Evangelical Quarterly.

Review quote

'Clearly written and persuasively argued, Bird's thesis will evoke responses from a number of sides - questers for the historical Jesus, and theose concerned with synoptic relations, or with Second Temple Judaism. Bird acknowledges and works with that fact, so his claims are measured and circumspect. Although there are many points where one wants to argue detail with him - particularly his discussion of Ps. 118 and the Vineyard parable - this thesis resonates with, though is not identical with, results from narrative studies of Luke. Bird's case will stimulate discussion and shed light on the question of how the Gentile missions flowed from the remembered Jesus.' - Peter Doble, JSNT Booklist, vol. 31.5, 2009. --Sanford Lakoff

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction: Jesus and the Gentiles; Chapter 2 - "A Light to the Nations": Proselytizing in Second-Temple Judaism; Chapter 3 - "Restore the Kingdom of Israel": Jesus, the Gentiles and the Restoration of Israel; Chapter 4 - "No Crumbs for the Dogs": Negative remarks about Gentiles and Restrictions of Jesus' Mission to Israel; Chapter 5 - "A Kingdom for the Birds: Sayings Material about Gentiles. Chapter 6 - "I Have Not Found Such Faith In Israel": Narrative Material about Gentiles; Chapter 7 - "A Light and a House for all Nations": The rationale for the salvation of the Gentiles in Jesus' Mission; Chapter 8 - Conclusion.