Key for understanding Crossan’s perspective on the historical Jesus is his understanding of Jesus as a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant. In Crossan’s view, this understanding points to Jesus as a religious, social, ideological, and borderline political revolutionary who defied social norms and practiced “a shared egalitarianism of spiritual (healing) and material (eating) resources.” Connecting Jesus with John the Baptist, and a form of Jewish eschatological thinking, Crossan suggests that perhaps the best approach to understanding and interpreting the historical Jesus would be through the lens of an Ancient Mediterranean Jewish Cynic. For Crossan, such an understanding would explain textual traditions of both calls to poverty, social radicalism, commensality, freedom, kingdom language, and talk of followers as royalty. Only with such an understanding, Crossan argues, can we really understand the methods and message of the truly historical Jesus. Continue reading
This is the second part of a two post-series looking at John D. Crossan’s view of the Historical Jesus as outlined in Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography.