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Jesus in the Gospels

Jesus in the Gospels: Man, Myth or God     Fr. Jack Sweeley, D.D.
Abstract: Jesus, born in Palestine over two millennia ago has both comforted and broken apart families, countries, and civilizations.  Who was he?  What was his purpose in entering human history?  Fr. Sweeley, although raised in the Catholic tradition, empowers all scholars and seekers to strip away centuries of myth and misunderstanding by discovering the historical Jesus as he lived in first century Palestine.
The Jesus of history is brought to life by examination of his life, ministry, death, and resurrection as understood by the people of his time, the evangelists, and the early church.  Jesus was a Jewish prophet whose teachings of the Lord's Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, and parables which reversed the traditional order between the rich and poor and privileged and dispossesed taught a new and revolutionary way of thinking and living.
Jesus in the Gospels examines the ago old question of how Judas, a devoted follower of Jesus, could be the instrument of his betrayal and death not only by the use of scripture but also the proposition of Thomas Aquinas that God wills evil.  Exploration of the Confession of Peter and his position in the early church, the birth of Christianity, and the evolution of the concept of the Trinity allow the reader to develop a more personal and intimate understanding of Jesus the man and Christ the God. 
Jesus in the Gospels does not offer answers as much as it raises questions which encourage readers to incorporate that which they find valuable into their own spritutal journey.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1   Jesus:
                     Messiah to Triune God
  • Quest of the Historical Jesus
  • The Apostolic Age
  • Jesus the Man to Christ the God
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity
  • Metaphysical and Philosophical Categories
  • The Uncertainity of God in the 20th Century


Chapter 2:   Jesus and the Gospel Tradition:

                       Who do You Say I Am?


  • Exegitical Methodology
  • Sitz-im-Leben
  • The Religious Heritage of Jesus
  • Infancy Narratives


Chapter 3   God's Plan for Jesus:

                     The Message of his Public Ministry


  • John the Baptist
  • Baptism of Jesus
  • The Ethical Base of Jesus
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • The Lord's Prayer
  • Parable of the Marriage Feast
  • Command to Baptize
  • The Human Knowledge of Jesus
  • The Birth of Christianity
  • The Petrine Ministry


Chapter 4   The Passion of Our Lord:

                     Will of God or Conspiracy to Murder


  • The Passion Narratives
  • Entry into Jerusalme
  • Anointing at Bethany
  • The Betrayal of Jesus
  • The Name Iscariot
  • Motive: The Sin of Judas
  • Motive: The Will of God


Chapter 5   The Last Supper:

                     Passover Meal or Mistaken Identity?


  • Preparation for Passover
  • The Passover Meal
  • Words of Blessing
  • Significance of the Words of Blessing
  • The Two Swords
  • The Garden of Gethsemane


Chapter 6   It is Finished:

                     The Death of Jesus


  • The Arrest of Jesus
  • Jewish Legal Proceedings
  • Dialogue of the Trial
  • Trial by Pilate
  • The Crucifixion
  • The Theolphany


Chapter 7   The Resurrection of Jesus:

                     Myth, Magic or Miracle


  • Mythic Resurrection in the Ancient Near East
  • The Promise of Salvation
  • Resurrection in Judaism
  • The Resurrection of Jesus





Book Reviews:  Discover the historical Jesus as you walk with him through the Gospels.
Fr. Sweeley represents a whole new generation of Christian thinkers who are now poised to provide a means of enlightenment in a time in which many churches are seeking to resolve their differences within and without their own religious tradition.  I want to thank him for being bold, courageous, and loving in this treatment of his subject.  He has spoken the truth in the form of a servant; that is, with the love of Christ.
  Raymone Eaton Sawyer, Ph.D
  Bishop of Arkansas
 Catholic Apostolic Church in North America
Fr. Sweeley knows the Bible well and presents a method of analysis of its information along with a myriad of resource material.  He offers the reader many comparitive examples as he clearly lays out his logic in diagrammatic form.  Fr. Sweeley explores the historicity of the Gospels as he describes how the Bible was written.  His style of writing is easy to comprehend in its forthright presentation.
                     Archbishop Meri-Louise Spruit
                     Rector, Sophia Divinity School
Fr. Sweeley has used the tools of modern biblical criticism to strip away much of the mythology and misunderstanding about the nature of the historical Jesus.  His goal has been to discover Jesus in his setting of first century Palestine and to illuminate his life, ministry, death and resurrection from this context.  Jesus in the Gospels uncovers a more authentic Jesus and this book brings new meaning to the Lord's Prayer, whether the betrayal by Judas was his own sin or the will of God, the Confession of Peter and his plance in the early church, and the birth of Christianity.
                        University Press of America
To order see below.

How to Order
To order Jesus in the Gospels: Man, Myth or God send your name, address, and check or money order in the amount of $24.95 plus $3.00 for shipping to:
Fr. Jack Sweeley, D.D., Pastor
St. James Catholic Community
612 East 34th Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2903