THE WORDS OF JESUS: FROM ORAL TRADITIONS TO WRITTEN RECORD IN PAUL AND Q by HARM W. HOLLANDER Leiden 1. Introduction From the Christian gospels as well as from Jewish and Roman sources we gain the impression that Jesus was put to death on pri- marily or even purely political charges. In all four gospels he is pre- sented as a prophet who proclaimed the coming of the kingdom of God and who claimed, as God’s nal agent, an essential role in its establishment. The heart of his message seems to have been the procla- mation of God’s imminent kingdom on earth together with a call for repentance. 1 This prophetical and highly eschatological message of Jesus caused considerable commotion among the Jews in Palestine and above all among their religious and political leaders in Jerusalem who formed the local Jewish council or Sanhedrin. The historical evidence, how- ever, points out that Jesus was executed (cruci ed) by the Romans, which makes it pretty clear that the charges on which he was put to death were political ones. This means that it was not, for instance, Jesus’ supposed critical attitude towards the Jewish law or the temple
Novum Testamentum – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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