The jesus of history foreword

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Jesus of History, by T. R. Glover

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Title: The Jesus of History

Author: T. R. Glover

Release Date: August 31, 2004 [EBook #13335]

Language: English


Contributed by Jonathon Love



I regard it as a high privilege to be associated with this volume. Many who know and value Mr Glover's work on The Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire must have wistfully desired to secure from his graphic pen just such a book as is here given to the world. He possesses the rare power of reverently handling familiar truths or facts in such manner as to make them seem to be almost new. There are few gifts more precious than this at a time when our familiarity with the greatest and most sacred of all narratives is a chief hindrance to our ready appreciation of its living power. I believe that no one will read Mr Glover's chapters, and especially his description of the parable-teaching given by our Lord, without a sense of having been introduced to a whole series of fresh and fruitful thoughts. He has expanded for us, with the force, the clearness, and the power of vivid illustration which we have learned to expect from him, the meaning of a sentence in the earlier volume I have alluded to, where he insists that, "Jesus of Nazareth does stand in the centre of human history, that He has brought God and man into a new relation, that He is the present concern of every one of us and that there is more in Him than we have yet accounted for."[1]

In accordance with its title, the single theme of the book is "The Jesus of History," but the student or exponent of dogmatic theology will find abundant material in its pages.

I commend it confidently, both to single students and to those who nowadays, in happily increasing numbers, meet together for common study; and I congratulate those who belong to the Student Christian Movement upon this notable addition to the books published in connection with their far-reaching work.


  Advent Sunday, 1916


This book has grown out of lectures upon the historical Jesus given in a good many cities of India during the winter 1915-16. Recast and developed, the lectures were taken down in shorthand in Calcutta; they were revised in Madras; and most of them were wholly re-written, where and when in six following months leisure was available, in places so far apart as Colombo, Maymyo, Rangoon, Kodaikanal, Simla, and Poona. The reader will not expect a heavy apparatus of references to books which were generally out of reach.

Here and there are incorporated passages (rehandled) from articles that have appeared in The Constructive Quarterly, The Nation, The Expositor, and elsewhere.

Those who themselves have tried to draw the likeness attempted in this book will best understand, and perhaps most readily forgive, failures and mistakes, or even worse, in my drawing. The aim of the book, as of the lectures, is, after all, not to achieve a final presentment of the historical Jesus, but to suggest lines of study that will deepen our interest in him and our love of him.

    T. R. G.

POONA, August 1916



CHAPTER I THE STUDY OF THE GOSPELS Modern study of religion Historicity of Jesus The gospels as historical sources Canons for the study of a historical figure A caution against antiquarianism here

CHAPTER II CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH References in Gospels Utilisation of the parables to reconstruct the domestic life Nature. The city. The talk of the market

CHAPTER III THE MAN AND HIS MIND Words and looks, as recorded in the gospels Playfulness of speech Movements of feeling Habits of thought: e.g. Quickness. Feeling for fact. Sympathy. Imagination His use of the Old Testament

CHAPTER IV THE TEACHER AND THE DISCIPLES THE BACKGROUND Hardness of the human life in those times Uncertainness as to God's plans for the nation—specially as to His purposes for the Messiah Uncertainty as to the immortality of the soul, and its destinies Re-action of all this upon life THE PROBLEM BEFORE THE TEACHER To induce people to try to re-think God To secure the re-thinking of life from its foundations in view of the new knowledge THE TEACHER AND THE DISCIPLES His personality, and his genius for friendship The disciples—the type he prefers Intimacy, the real secret of his method His ways of speech His seriousness The transformation of the disciples

CHAPTER V THE TEACHING OF JESUS UPON GOD JESUS' OWN GOD-CONSCIOUSNESS The Nearness of God God's knowledge and power God's throne Jesus emphasizes mostly God's interest in the individual—the love of God THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD The discovery of God Parables of the treasure finder and the pearl merchant Faith in God Prayer Life on the basis of God

CHAPTER VI JESUS AND MAN Jesus' sympathy with men and their troubles His feelings for the suffering and distressed His feeling for women and children His emphasis on tenderness and forgiveness The characteristics which he values in men The value of the individual soul Jesus and the wasted life Zacchaeus. The woman with the alabaster box. The penitent thief

CHAPTER VII JESUS' TEACHING UPON SIN The problem of sin John the Baptist on sin Jesus' psychology of sin more serious The outstanding types of sin which, according to Jesus, involve for a man the utmost risk: (a) Want of tenderness (b) The impure imagination (c) Indifference to truth (d) Indecision Jesus' view of sin as deduced from this teaching Implication of a serious view of redemption

CHAPTER VIII THE CHOICE OF THE CROSS What the cross meant to him HIS REFERENCES TO THE GOSPEL AND ITS RESULTS The kingdom of heaven The call for followers His announcement of purpose in his life and death What he means by redemption FACTORS IN HIS CHOICE OF THE CROSS His sense of human need His realization of God His recognition of his own relation to God His prayer life VERIFICATION FROM THE EVENT The Resurrection The new life of the disciples The taking away of the sin of the world RE-EXAMINATION OF HIS CHOICE OF THE CROSS As it bears on the problem of pain and of sin and on God How a man is to understand Jesus Christ

CHAPTER IX THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE THE ROMAN EMPIRE One rule of many races General peace and free intercourse the world over Fusion of cultures, traditions, religions "The marriage of East and West" THE OLD RELIGION (1) Its strength: in its ancient tradition in its splendour of art, architecture and ceremony in its oracles, healings and theophanies in its adaptability in absorbing all cults and creeds (2) Its weakness: No deep sense of truth No association with morality Polytheism The fear of the grave (3) Its defence: Plutarch—the Stoics—Neo-Platonism—the Eclectics THE VICTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (1) Its characteristics (2) Persecuted because it refused to compromise (3) The Christian "out-lived" the pagan "out died" him "out-thought him"

CHAPTER X JESUS IN CHRISTIAN THOUGHT The impulse to determine who he is, and his relation to God The records of Christian experience The Study of the personality of Jesus Christ (a) The Gospels (b) Christological theory a guide to experience (c) The new experience of the Reformation period Knowledge gained by the experiment comes before explanation JESUS TO BE KNOWN BY WHAT HE DOES The forgiveness of sin, and the theories to explain it Is a Theology of Redemption possible which shall not be mainly metaphor or simile? THE PROBLEM OF THE INCARNATION The approach is to be "a posterioria" In fact, God and man are only known to us in and by Jesus Only in Christ is the love of God as taught in N.T. tenable To know Jesus in what he can do, is antecedent to theory about him

  Suggestions for study circle discussions


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