Description: It's obvious that Jesus fulfilled prophecies about the promised Messiah--or so the gospels make it seem. But the real story is more complex, and more compelling. In hindsight we can see that Jesus had help fulfilling prophecy. The gospel writers skillfully manipulated prophecies--carefully lifting them out of context, creatively reinterpreting them, even rewriting them--to match what Jesus would do in fulfilling them. The evangelists also used the prophecies themselves to shape the very stories that show their fulfillment. This book describes in detail how Christian authors "helped" Jesus fulfill prophecy. Studies of Greek oracles, the Dead Sea Scrolls, translations of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek and Aramaic, and the writings of Josephus explore the interpretive techniques that paved the way for the New Testament's manipulation of prophecy. This book analyzes how the belief that Jesus fulfilled prophecy became an argument to justify a new notion: the view that Christians had replaced Jews as God's chosen people. An aggressive anti-Judaism is analyzed in chapters on patristic theologians such as Justin Martyr and Augustine, who embedded it into the argument from prophecy. The book concludes with an ethical argument for why Christians should retire the argument from prophecy.
Subjects: Bible, Septuagint, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Johannine Literature, John, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins, Ideological Critique, Dead Sea Scrolls
Review by J. Andrew Doole
Citation: J. Andrew Doole, review of Robert J. Miller, Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).
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