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Title: The Synoptic Jesus and eschatological violence
Author: Nickel, Jessiah P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 1950
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis offers fresh insight into the relationship between violence and eschatology in the Synoptic Gospels' presentation of Jesus' life and ministry. It seeks to refute the claims of scholars who have argued that the hypothesis of a violent, seditious Jesus makes the most sense of otherwise incoherent Synoptic passages, by contending that such scholars have not properly understood the role that eschatological expectations played in motivating Second Temple Jewish revolutionary violence, and hence have misread crucial Synoptic passages. The thesis can be divided into three units. First, in chapters two and three, I argue that there were integral connections between violence and eschatology in Second Temple Judaism; demonstrating first the inherently violent components of eschatological writings, then the clearly eschatological elements of major instances of revolutionary violence. Second, in chapters four and five I demonstrate the thematic centrality of Jesus' opposition to such eschatological violence throughout the Synoptic presentations of his life and ministry. I argue that a proper understanding of violence and eschatology together enables us to see allegedly problematic passages as part of the coherent Synoptic narrative, in which Jesus consistently disassociates eschatological violence from his inauguration of the kingdom of God and his identification of its people. Third, in chapter six I argue that the Synoptic Jesus' rejection of eschatological violence is closely bound up with the central place of exorcism within his ministry, through which he began to achieve the eschatological goals which many of his contemporaries sought to achieve through revolutionary violence. Therefore, this thesis argues that (i) by understanding the fundamental connections between eschatology and violence within the worldview of Second Temple Judaism, we can understand Jesus' nonviolence--expressed both in his own practice, and in his commands to his followers--in direct connection with his rejection of the eschatological violence envisioned by many of his contemporaries; and (ii) this forms a central and consistent aspect of the Synoptic presentations of his life and ministry.
Supervisor: Wright, Nicholas Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Synoptic Gospels ; Historical Jesus ; Second Temple Judaism ; Jewish eschatology ; Eschatological violence ; Revolutionary violence ; BS2555.52N5