The article argues in the first part that the Lunyu
is the only early text in which Confucius is not depicted as the ultimate sage authority who knows an answer to all questions. Instead the Confucius of the Lunyu leaves questions open and points out limits of possible knowledge. The second part of the article shows that in the exegesis of the Gongyang Zhuan
we find exactly the same attitudes of Confucius. The article argues in the third part that the specific character of the Lunyu construction of Confucius lies in its ascribing to him professional attitudes found in the realm of historiography and ritual expertise.