Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

The Pope’s Jesus book and the Christologies of the gospels

Wim J.C. Weren
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a831 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.831 | © 2011 Wim J.C. Weren | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 April 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

About the author(s)

Wim J.C. Weren, Faculty of Humanities, Tilburg University, The Netherlands Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Netherlands


This article maps out recent developments in the exegetical investigation of Jesus. It starts with a discussion of the Jesus book by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, in which ‘canonical exegesis’ is used to argue that Johannine Christology is also present in the other gospels and that this Christology actually goes back to Jesus. In this way, the book narrows the gap between the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. The next section argues for maintaining the multiplicity of images of Jesus as a literary figure that is the fruit of relatively recent approaches: redaction criticism, narrative-semantic analysis and intertextuality. The final section contains a sketch of the current state of research on the historical Jesus and its relevance for Christology. The multiplicity in the literary and historical approaches poses challenges to the further development of Christology.


Christology; the Pope's Jesus book; canonical exegesis; narrative-semantic analysis; intertextuality; historical research on Jesus


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