Does All His Teaching Befit Divinity?

  • A. Richard Kingston


The word ‘all’ in the chapter title must be mentally underlined, for there is no intention here to question the sublime nature of ‘nearly all’ the recorded teaching of Jesus, and indeed it is within the context of a profound appreciation of that teaching in general that we must nevertheless make fairly severe criticisms of some particular aspects of it. Admittedly, it may seem petty-minded to focus entirely on the mistakes or disputable utterances of ‘one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had’, to quote Gandhi’s warm tribute to Jesus,1 but in view of dogmatic claims that he came to earth as God incarnate, bringing the supreme revelation of divine love and human duty, and that the reported content of this revelation helps to confirm his Sonship, it is imperative to ask if his teaching was wholly free from serious error or misguided counsel. The negative answer we must give to that question in the present chapter must be counterbalanced, however, by the positive portrait of Jesus in the following chapter, if we are to grasp something of his real stature as a moral and spiritual leader.


Ethical Teaching Divine Love Direct Word Chapter Title Perfect Teaching 
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  1. 1.
    M. K. Gandhi, What Jesus Means to Me (compiled by R. K. Prabhu, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad 1959) p. 9.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    E. F. Scott, The Kingdom and the Messiah (T. and T. Clarke 1911) pp. 111–12.Google Scholar
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    Norman Perrin, Jesus and the Language of the Kingdom (SCM Press and Fortress Press 1976) p. 40.Google Scholar
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    T. Francis Glasson, The Second Advent (2nd edn, Epworth Press 1947) p. 114. See also his summary on pp. 149f.Google Scholar
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    Jack T. Sanders, Ethics in the New Testament ((1975) SCM Press 1986) p. 29.Google Scholar
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    Richard Robinson, An Atheist’s Values (Blackwell 1975) p. 145.Google Scholar
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    Quoted by George Seaver, Albert Schweitzer: the Man and his Mind (A. and C. Black 1947) p. 285.Google Scholar
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    See J. H. Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), (Pelican Books 1974).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. Richard Kingston 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Richard Kingston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and PoliticsUniversity of UlsterUK

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