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Jesus “Is the eschatological teacher of righteousness who brings the full and final revelation of the will of God"


The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology

A TEACHER COME FROM GOD

“A considerable part of Jesus' ministry was devoted to teaching. He is frequently called a didaskalos (="teacher"; Luke also uses the term epistates). Both these Greek words probably translate 'rabbi' (from Heb. rabbi, lit. 'my master'),which is strictly a term of address, though it was used as an honorary designation for teachers of the Torah (on contemporary Jewish usage, see R. H. Fuller 1969: 49-50). The term 'rabbi' is also applied directly to Jesus (Mark 9:5; John 1:38; 4:31; etc.). In John 3:2 Nicodemus says to Jesus, 'Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher (didaskalos) who has come from God.' Jesus has some of the characteristics of contemporary rabbis (cf. Dodd 1939: 53-56): he gathers a group of disciples around him, transmits his teaching to hem so that they in turn can pass it on to others, and engages in debates on the interpretation of Torah. Jesus was also, to some extent, a teacher in the Wisdom tradition (on this, see 8-3.4 and 18-3.2b.iv).

Yet Jesus is also sharply contrasted with contemporary teachers, particularly because of the 'authority' (exousia) he claimed and displayed in his teaching. Those in the synagogue at Capernaum 'were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes' (Mark 1:22). Jesus never quoted authorities (one of the marks of the rabbinic literature); he claimed to reveal the will of God directly. This authority is seen particularly in Jesus' claim to bring the definitive interpretation of Torah: 'You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times.... But I say to you' (Mark 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-34, 38-39, 43-44).

Jesus is thus far from being 'a rabbi.' He is the eschatological teacher of righteousness who brings the full and final revelation of the will of God and of the true meaning of the Torah.”

Charles Scobie, The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (Dec 11 2002) p. 329





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