On the Self-Styled ‘Refutation’ of the ‘Seditious Jesus Hypothesis’ (Or Jesse Nickel’s – and Others’ – Wishful Thinking)

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Fernando Bermejo-Rubio Departamento de Historia Antigua – UNED, Madrid, Spain

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The hypothesis according to which Jesus and his group were somehow involved in anti-Roman resistance has been systematically opposed by some quarters through the centuries. One of the most recent examples is Jesse P. Nickel’s The Things that Make for Peace: Jesus and Eschatological Violence, a book whose author boldly claims to have ‘refuted’ that hypothesis. The present article surveys this volume, concluding that it contains several misunderstandings of the field and method, as well as serious misrepresentations of the hypothesis under discussion, to the extent that everything indicates that it is influenced by theological presuppositions. These conclusions are not limited because Nickel’s book is representative of a much wider trend within the field.

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