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C O U R S E 
Jesus in Scripture and Tradition
Gary Anderson, University of Notre Dame
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Historical Jesus and the Criteria of Coherence
Notes taken on January 28, 2017 by Edward Tanguay
what is the relationship between the historical Jesus and the Jesus that the Church that proclaims in the creeds
no single criterion will give us a reliable historical Jesus
imagine Martin Luther never wrote anything down
that only his followers wrote down what he said
and so we have to reconstruct Martin Luther from voluminous material
we would ask, how would we separate that from early scholastic Lutheranism that arises fairly quickly
you would get a distorted Martin Luther, since he still heard to the end of his life an Augustinian monk, he still hear confessions
he practiced a number of Catholic pieties
for Jesus we have to add another criterion
the criterion of coherence
balances the criterion of discontinuity and embarrassment
other accounts of Jesus that make sense in his time and place
used to broaden out the picture
helps prevent an ahistorical picture of Jesus
great Jews in history
stand out against their Jewish context
but you do not understand them outside this context
Jesus was acting within the historical context of his time
Jesus' continuity with the Mosaic Law
Jesus and all adversaries take the Mosaic Law as the given
Jesus doesn't reject the Mosaic Law
he reaffirms them
he will even push them further
radicalizing them
deepening them
not only adultery of the body but of the mind and spirit as well
not only physical murder is wrong, but murderous anger that destroys the other person psychologically
the fount of morality flows from within
you need to purify the source of your moral actions
does not revoke the Mosaic Law
he creates new intriguing figurations
scribe asks him in the temple what is the first commandment
not one but two:
love your Lord with all your strength
you shall love your neighbor as yourself
is engaging in a Rabbinic technique
creates a new insight about the law
this coheres with Jesus as teacher and prophet
it's discontinuous at the same time
does not occurs in the Jewish scriptures or anywhere else in the New Testament
we have to wait until the Didache to see this kind of teaching again
a first century text which constitutes the oldest extant written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian ethics, rituals such as baptism and Eucharist, and Church organization
Jesus is creating a new gestalt for these two laws