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Study Guide for “Jesus Then and Jesus Now: Looking for Jesus, Finding Ourselves”

This book is written from an intentionally progressive Christian perspective. It draws together multiple strands from my personal and professional life: critical biblical scholarship, field archaeology, parish ministry, seminary teaching, and personal religious practice.

In this book you will find a profile of what Jesus may have been like within the context of Second Temple Judaism. This is set alongside selected aspects of the Jesus tradition as preserved in the earliest Christian writings. Neither is ascribed primacy over the other, but each casts light on the other and both inform the final part of the book that traces some of the ways in which Jesus communities now might shape their collective and individual lives.

At one point my goal in writing the book is expressed this way (p. 1):This collection of essays draws together some of my thoughts about Jesus of Nazareth. I hope that it will offer glimpses of Jesus then and Jesus now that are both fresh and interesting. It is not my goal to persuade you to agree with my perspective on Jesus, but I do hope that you will find that the book provokes you to think more deeply about what you know about Jesus, how you know that, and what difference it makes to the way that you choose to live your own life. Writing this book has certainly helped me to do all three.


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