Exit the ‘Great Man’: On James Crossley’s Jesus and the Chaos of History

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
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In Jesus and the Chaos of History (JCH), James G. Crossley invites us to ‘rethink some of the ways we approach the historical Jesus.’ The result of many years of critical engagement in Jesus Research, JCH is a helpful overview of the current state of the field and a programmatic set of essays seeking to ‘redirect’ Jesus Research by finding new ways to account for the social, economic, and political factors inherent and implicit in ‘historical change.’ In this review, I would like to engage and think with four of Crossley’s proposals: (1) the concept of an ‘Earliest Palestinian Tradition’; (2) the construction of Jesus as a ‘Great Man’; (3) the Jewish Jesus’ Torah observance; and (4) Jesus’ relationship to politico-military revolution and ‘(non)violence’.

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