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Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics
Richard A. Burridge

9780802844583 Retail Price: $35.00
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Format: Hardcover, 490pp.
ISBN: 9780802844583
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pub. Date: October 22, 2007

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About the Author
Table of Contents
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In contrast to many studies of New Testament ethics, which treat the New Testament in general and Paul in particular, this book focuses on the person of Jesus himself. Richard Burridge maintains that imitating Jesus means following both his words — which are very demanding ethical teachings — and his deeds and example of being inclusive and accepting of everyone.

Burridge carefully and systematically traces that combination of rigorous ethical instruction and inclusive community through the letters of Paul and the four Gospels, treating specific ethical issues pertaining to each part of Scripture. The book culminates with a chapter on apartheid as an ethical challenge to reading the New Testament; using South Africa as a contemporary case study enables Burridge to highlight and further apply his previous discussion and conclusions.



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About the Author

Richard A. Burridge is dean of King's College in London, where he is also Director of New Testament Studies.

Table of Contents

    Preface and Acknowledgements


  1. Being ‘Biblical’: Contexts and Starting Points
  2. Introduction

    1. The scholarly context of the debate
      1. British scholarship
      2. German studies
      3. In the United States of America
      4. Roman Catholic and Orthodox work
      5. Worldwide
      6. Evangelical approaches
      7. Historical and sociological enquiry
      8. More recent application to today
    2. The personal context of this project
      1. Biblical debate
      2. South Africa
    3. The biographical context of the gospels’ genre
      1. Can we start or finish with Jesus?
      2. Historical and literary approaches to the gospels
      3. The genre of the gospels and Graeco-Roman biography
      4. Biographical narratives of Jesus’ words and deeds
      5. The depiction of character within a biographical narrative
    4. Conclusion

  3. Jesus of Nazareth: Great Moral Teacher or Friend of Sinners?
  4. Introduction

    1. Beginning with the historical Jesus
      1. Jesus of Nazareth existed as an historical figure
      2. Jesus was a teacher with a mixed following
      3. A brief outline of Jesus’ life
    2. Jesus’ ethical teaching — his words
      1. The kingdom of God as the centre of Jesus’ teaching
      2. The eschatological setting of Jesus’ ethics
      3. Jesus’ ethic of response
      4. Responding in community
      5. The law and love
      6. An ‘impractical’ approach to ethical issues?
    3. Jesus’ ethical example — his deeds
      1. ‘The Friend of Sinners’
      2. Forgiveness and repentance
      3. Following and imitating Jesus
    4. Conclusion

  5. Paul: Follower or Founder?
  6. Introduction

    1. Paul’s Christology
      1. Jesus reshapes Paul’s own biography
      2. Jesus reshapes Paul’s theology
      3. The narrative of Paul’s Christology
      4. The language of Paul’s Christology
      5. Christology and ethics
    2. Paul’s letters in their setting
      1. The letters
      2. Old Testament and Jewish sources
      3. The contemporary Hellenistic world
    3. Ethics, eschatology and theology
      1. Separation or integration?
      2. Ethics and eschatology
      3. The response of being ‘in Christ’
      4. Together in the Christian community
      5. Indicative and imperative
    4. Paul, love and the law
      1. Love as the greatest commandment
      2. Love is the ‘fulfilling of the law’
      3. ‘Love and do what you like’ or ‘the law of the Spirit’?
    5. Ethical issues in early Pauline communities
      1. Power and the state
      2. Women
      3. Sex and marriage
      4. Money and property, work and slavery
      5. Household codes
    6. The imitation of Jesus in Paul
      1. Paul’s knowledge of Jesus and his teaching
      2. The appeal to the imitation of Christ
      3. Keeping company with ‘sinners’?
    7. Conclusion

  7. Mark: Suffering for the Kingdom
  8. Introduction to the four gospels
    Introduction to Mark’s gospel

    1. Mark’s Christology
      1. The opening movement
      2. The middle section — who is this?
      3. Jerusalem and the final climax
    2. Mark’s setting and eschatology
    3. The law and love
    4. Ethical issues in Mark
      1. ‘Family values’
      2. Marriage and divorce, children
      3. Money and possessions
      4. Power, leadership and the state
    5. Following and imitating Jesus, the friend of sinners
      1. Following in discipleship
      2. A mixed group
      3. Imitating Jesus
    6. Conclusion

  9. Matthew: Being Truly Righteous
  10. Introduction

    1. Matthew’s Christology
      1. The story of Jesus
      2. The story of the conflict
      3. The climax of both stories
    2. Matthew’s setting and eschatology
    3. The law and love
      1. The central theme: righteousness in the kingdom of heaven
      2. Righteousness and the debate with the teachers of the law
      3. The Sermon on the Mount — righteous living
      4. Love and the righteous fulfilment of the law
    4. Ethical issues in Matthew
      1. The family
      2. Marriage and divorce
      3. Money and possessions
      4. Violence
      5. The power of the state and taxes
    5. Imitating Jesus, the friend of sinners
      1. Discipleship in Matthew
      2. An inclusive community?
      3. Imitating Jesus
    6. Conclusion

  11. Luke-Acts: A Universal Concern
  12. Introduction

    1. Luke’s Christology
      1. Beginnings: infancy and childhood
      2. Ministry in the middle of space and time: Galilee and Jordan
      3. The climax: opposition in Jerusalem
      4. To the ends of the earth: Christology in Acts
    2. Luke’s setting and eschatology
    3. The law and love
      1. Luke’s attitude towards Judaism
      2. Luke’s attitude towards the law
      3. The love command
    4. Ethical issues in Luke
      1. Rich and poor
      2. The marginalized: women, outsiders and non-Jews
      3. Family, marriage and divorce
      4. Violence
      5. Attitude towards leadership, power and the state
    5. Imitating Jesus, the friend of sinners
      1. Jesus, the ‘friend of sinners’
      2. The mixed community which follows
      3. Jesus, the pattern for imitation
    6. Conclusion

  13. John: Teaching the Truth in Love
  14. Introduction

    1. John’s Christology
      1. The Prologue (John 1.1-18)
      2. Jesus’ ministry — the Book of Signs (John 1.19–12.50)
      3. Jesus’ Passion — the Book of Glory (John 13.1–19.42)
      4. The Resurrection and Epilogue (John 20.1–21.25)
      5. Is it too divine to be true?
    2. John’s setting and eschatology
    3. Judaism, the law and love
      1. Attitude towards “the Jews”
      2. Attitude towards the law
      3. A new commandment
    4. Ethical issues in John
    5. Imitating Jesus, the friend of sinners
      1. Jesus, the friend of sinners
      2. Discipleship in a mixed community?
      3. Jesus as an example for imitation
    6. Conclusion

  15. Apartheid: An Ethical and Generic Challenge to Reading the New Testament
  16. Introduction

    1. Using the New Testament today
      1. Traditional and authorial controls
      2. From author to reader to audience
      3. Bringing the two horizons together
      4. Genre and types of ethical material
    2. Obeying rules and prescriptive commands
      1. Ethical approach
      2. Genre and texts
      3. Problems
      4. South Africa
    3. Looking for principles and universal values
      1. Ethical approach
      2. Genre and texts
      3. Problems
      4. South Africa
    4. Following examples and paradigms
      1. Ethical approach
      2. Genre and texts
      3. Problems
      4. South Africa
    5. Embracing an overall symbolic worldview
      1. Ethical approach
      2. Genre and texts
      3. Problems
      4. South Africa
    6. Reading together in an inclusive community
      1. Ethical approach
      2. Genre and texts
      3. Problems
      4. South Africa
    7. Conclusion



    1. Subjects
    2. Modern Authors
    3. Biblical References and Ancient Sources

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