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This article interacts with John P. Meier’s view concerning the parables that can be shown to be “authentic,” i.e., shown to have been uttered by the historical Jesus. His highly critical and largely negative result (only four parables remaining parables of Jesus) demonstrates once more that historical Jesus research that is intrinsically tied to questions of authenticity has run its course. Such an approach can only lead to minimalistic results and destroys the sources that we have. By contrast, the so-called memory approach tries to understand the process and result of remembering Jesus as a parable teller. Collective memory requires typification and repetition in order to bring the past to mind in a remembering community. Parables as a genre are such media of collective memory that shape and form not only the memory itself, but also the identity of the remembering community. Thus, the many parables of Jesus in early Christian writings are more than ever an indispensable source for historical research on the remembered Jesus, a point that is demonstrated in the final section of this article using kingdom parables as a test case.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Abstract

Die Rede von der ”Jungfräulichkeit“ der 144 000 in Apk 14:1-5 wird durch die im unmittelbaren Kontext genannten Motive ”Befleckung mit Frauen“, ”Loskauf“ und ”Erstlingsfrucht“ näher konkretisiert, die sich insgesamt zu einem Komplex geschlechtermetaphorischer Aussagen verbinden lassen: Jungfräulichkeit, Makellosigkeit und Nachfolgeversprechen können als Hinweise für den Vorstellungshorizont der Hochzeit gewertet werden, der durch die weiteren Motive präzisiert wird: Die ”Nicht-Befleckung mit Frauen“ spielt auf die Enthaltung von Mischehen an, der ”Loskauf“-Gedanke könnte aus der römischen Praxis der Heirat einer freigelassenen Sklavin inspiriert sein, während das Motiv der ”Erstlingsfrucht“ den für die jüdische Eheschließung zentralen Aspekt der ”Heiligung“ benennt und an eine prophetische Tradition anknüpft ( Jer 2:2-3). Die Funktion aller Aussagen besteht darin, dass die 144 000 fremden Macht- und Besitzansprüchen entzogen werden und ihre enge Zugehörigkeit zum Lamm, dem königlichen Bräutigam, betont wird. Die geschlechtsspezifische Beschreibung der 144 000 rückt die Auserwählten in den Horizont der Braut, so dass die in Apk 19:6-9 bzw. Apk 21:2,9 imaginierte himmlische Hochzeit durch Apk 14:1-5 vorbereitet wird.

In: Novum Testamentum

Abstract

A point of agreement between historical-Jesus scholarship and Johannine scholarship is that there are no parables in the Fourth Gospel. The following article, however, questions this consensus on both historical and literary grounds. Drawing on the insights of memory research, the following discussion will not seek to peer 'behind' the text, but rather embraces the text itself as a historical document of the memory of Jesus. Additionally, new genre theories necessitate a shift in the application of form criticism to the parable genre. Taking these new methodological insights into account, one finds texts in John that have the same right to be called 'parables' as texts found in the Synoptic Gospels. Furthermore, these Johannine parables, in their specific form of remembering, preserve and reveal important theological aspects of Jesus' parables.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Abstract

In John 2-4 Jesus is described as a bridegroom by means of narratival (John 2:1-11; 4:1-42) and metaphorical (John 3:28-30) devices. By doing so, the Fourth Gospel draws on the stock metaphor, familiar in Judaism, of the divine-human relationship as a wedding or bridal couple. In this metaphor, God represents the bridegroom, as in the Sinai-wedding, and in later texts, the Messiah functions in this role. This essay engages with Jewish writings (Hebrew Bible, Early Jewish and Rabbinic Writings) to explore the use of bridegroom metaphors in religious thought and seeks to contextualize and understand the use of the bridal imagery in the Fourth Gospel and its Christological implications. Though the Gospel of John is linked closely to the other Jewish traditions, it develops its own idea of the Messiah bridegroom, which I call “metaphorical Christology.”

In: Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism
Zur Hermeneutik der Metapher und anderer bildlicher Sprachformen
In: Biblische Zeitschrift