Original Research - Special Collection: Public Discourse

A prophet of old: Jesus the ‘public theologian’

Ernest van Eck
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 66, No 1 | a771 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v66i1.771 | © 2010 Ernest van Eck | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 November 2009 | Published: 08 October 2010

About the author(s)

Ernest van Eck, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In this article the argument is put forward that Jesus’ parables portray him as a social prophet, as many of the issues addressed by Old Testament prophets (such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and Hosea) are common themes in Jesus’ parables. As proof for and further elaboration on the abovementioned argument, two of these themes from Jesus’ parables, religious inclusivity and social injustice, are discussed. It is concluded that if public theology is understood as public theologians doing theology in public, Jesus was a ‘public theologian’ par excellence.


parables; historical Jesus; social prophet; social justice; Amos; Hosea


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