“A Man Attested by God”: A Review

Larry Hurtado reviews a major recent book on ‘early Christology’.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

In response to several requests, I give below my panel- presentation from the review session devoted to J. R. Daniel Kirk’s recent book, A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016).

At 582 pages, plus a 21-page bibliography, Kirk’s hefty tome reflects an impressive investment of effort, his main thesis being that the Synoptic Gospels present Jesus as what Kirk calls an “idealized human” who is the agent of remarkable divine power and purposes. Upon receiving the pre-publication proofs for this review, my first thought was why such a large discussion devoted to a point that will be rather uncontroversial, surely, to most scholars, that the Synoptic Gospels (and I would include John as well) present a genuinely human Jesus who acts as God’s unique agent.[1] And why the somewhat agonistic tenor of the book?

But I take it that the size and…

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