Jesus' Time: The Image Network of the
Foreword by Gerd Theissen
In a groundbreaking approach to the self-understanding of the historical
Jesus, the Japanese scholar Takashi Onuki asks how Jesus understood and
experienced his own time and his place in it. He describes the “image
network” woven by Jesus, which was severely tested in his last hours.
Jesus sees his time as life in the “omnitemporal now”.
From the Foreword by Gerd Theissen:
“Who really was Jesus? What did he think of himself? What was his
message? Some see him as God incarnate, who shared human life, and
indeed death, in order to overcome death. Others regard him as one of
the great deceivers. But however one judges the traditions concerning
him, on both sides they are read selectively. Many Jesus traditions are
glistening pearls of world literature and are part of the fundamental
repository of human culture. But the selection of traditions viewed as
characteristic of Jesus looks different from a critical stance: Jesus’
belief in Satan, his exorcisms, the magical elements of his miracles,
extremist demands like the call to leave one’s deceased father unburied,
and finally his expectation of an impending End of the World, which did
not come about. Such parts of the tradition are uncomfortable.
Regardless of whether one has a positive or negative relationship with
him, Jesus has an ambivalent effect. His admirers are irritated by
strange and bizarre features, while criticism of him pales in the face
of fascinating aspects of his ministry.
Anyone concerned with such questions should read this book about Jesus
by the Japanese philologist and theologian Takashi Onuki. In an original
way he formulates new answers to old questions of Jesus research. As he
does so, he also brings in unusual perspectives from his culture.
Onuki’s work is grounded historically in the texts, and at the same time
it offers people of today an access to Jesus that is not distorted by
dogma. His book is one of the most innovative historical and theological
books about Jesus of Nazareth to have been written in recent years.”
is Professor of New Testament and Ancient Christian Literature at the
University of Tokyo.
Emory Studies in Early Christianity
ISBN 978 1 905679 096 (ESEC, 13) 224pp. Pbk. UK £22.95/ Europe
£23.95/ ROW £25.95.