Jesus and the Continuing Exile of Israel in the Writings of N.T. Wright

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Michael F. Bird Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia,

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N.T. Wright’s thesis that the historical Jesus conducted his prophetic career in the context of a widespread belief that Israel was in a protracted state of exile has courted much controversy. This study sketches Wright’s articulation of the return-from-exile theme in Jewish literature, describes some of the scholarly criticisms to this view, and defends a chastened view of Wright’s thesis that return-from-exile remains a useful category for understanding Judaism and Jesus even if it does not necessarily carry the meta-narratival freight that Wright attributes to it.

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