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Jesus and the Victory of God, Vol.2 (Christian Origins and the Question of God #2)

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,137 ratings  ·  70 reviews
N.T. Wright brilliantly surveys the field of Jesus scholarship in the twentieth-century, presenting Jesus firmly within the political and social setting of the first-century--as a Jewish apocalyptic prophet.
Hardcover, 2 pages
Published December 31st 1992 by Augsburg Fortress Publishing
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Douglas Wilson
I have been chipping away at this one for years, and decided that it was time to finish. The three stars are an average. Stretches of this book are extraordinarily good -- magnificent. Wright is steeped in Scripture and has many marvelous things to point out. Five stars. But then he does things that are beyond exasperating -- lower case g on God, for example. You know, two star stuff. Or the typical-sit-in-judgment-on-the-writers-of-Scripture kind of thing that contemporary scholarship mandates. ...more
Jacob Aitken
In many ways this is the book that permanently altered the course of my theology. Even if I don't agree (and I do) and want to go back to "Vanilla Reformed," the questions have already been asked. Pandora has opened the box.

Contrary to conservative reactionaries, Wright shatters the liberal paradigm. The phrase "according to higher criticism," has been found wanting. Against fundamentalists Wright argues that we can and should ask historical questions about Jesus (this is where he brings Second
Jacob McGill
I'm not sure how much of Wright's rereading of the gospels I buy into, but it is nonetheless an interesting read. This is much better and more important than the highly acclaimed RSG. There is great dialogue with Wright at the 2010 Wheaton Theology Conference. Hays offers a valid critique that Wright conflates the 3 unique voices of the Synoptics into one, and I would add that this voice tends to look more like Luke than the other two. Walsh and Keesmat offer an excellent addition to his work in ...more
Chad Gibbons
I want to say first of all, that I love N.T. Wright. I am a big fan of his books, lectures, sermons and articles. He's one of the top five New Testament Historians on nearly anybody's list, and he is a much needed voice speaking on behalf of the church today.

Jesus and the Victory of God is book two in Wright's magnum opus in the making, a series spanning six books (three not yet written) entitled Christian Origins and the Question of God. Wright is a historian by trade and these books are writte
Tsun Lu
REVIEW AND CRITIQUE Wright, N. T. Jesus and the Victory of God. Christian Origins and the Question of God 2. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996.

This work is the second volume of a N. T. Wright’s six-volume series entitled “Christian Origins and the Question of God.”

Wright firstly critiques the misguided “first quest” of historical Jesus that gives no real Jesus but a reimagined Jesus conformed to modern expectations. Secondly Wright critiques the reductionistic “new quest” of historical Jesus that onl
Chauncey Lattimer
When I finished reading Vol. 1 of this series, The New Testament and the People of God, I realized right away that there would be two more books on the agenda. This book was even better than the first. Often I thought how valuable this book would have been during my bible college and seminary days, only to remind myself that it was not in print and wouldn't be for two more decades. Not once during the study of both Greek and Hebrew did I believe that I was receiving the tools necessary to really ...more
I remember reading this book the first time (yes, I have read it more than once) over the summer while visiting my in-laws. I found out later they couldn't understand why I was so engrossed in reading, as if I had checked myself out of the family! But I had simply never encountered a more impressive work on the humanity of Jesus than I encountered here. While one may not agree with all he writes (who ever agrees with everything someone writes?), one cannot deny the value of the work and the refl ...more
David Varney
Key text in current Historical Jesus studies. Illuminating studies that reveal the author's deep learning, but presented in a way that is clear and understandable. Wright presents Jesus as the eschatological prophet of God in line with several other Jesus scholars. His conclusions are convincing and I am definitely considering the Synoptics in a new light based on his material.

However, I have a few questions that remain. Wright concentrates his studies on the synoptics only, commenting that ther
Nate Claiborne
In the end though, this is a great book for anyone serious about New Testament studies to wrestle through. I never got around to it in seminary, but I’m glad I took the time now. Stylistically, it is a fairly easy read. But, content-wise, there is much to process and digest, so getting through it is no easy task. It’s not for the faint of heart and those who are interested but maybe more time bound in their reading than I am may want to check out Simply Jesus or How God Became King. Both of thes ...more
I have a lot that I could say on this book, but I will limit that to a minimum. This is a impressive volume that has contributed to our understanding of Jesus, and shows how well learned Wright is and gives him the rightful place as one of the world's best experts in this area. I appreciated all of the interaction early on with Jesus scholarship and the debates that have been running for the past couple centuries and the different contributions; it really put the book in context and gives it sig ...more
Adam Smith
From my blog (

Once again in Volume 2 of the Series “Christian Origins and the Question of God”, British theologian N.T. Wright has given scholars, historians, pastors and lay people a lot to chew on. He has provided a solid historical evaluation of the prophetic ministry of Jesus along with his aims and beliefs.

One thing that must constantly be kept in mind in this work is that it is historical in nature more so than theological. That is not to say that i
Nathanael Smith
It's taken me a good 9-10 months of reading this book off and on to get through the whole thing. The depth and amount of information in this, as well as the other volumes in the series (at least the first one, I'm working my way through so I haven't read the next two yet but I'm assuming they hold up to what he's done so far) is pretty amazing. This particular volume is pretty much a look into the life and ministry of Jesus and Wright's case for why the context of the Kingdom is so crucial to a ...more
Chris Griffith
Wright, thoroughly examines the life of Jesus in the context of the history of Israel and her exile during the reign of King Herod while under the dominion of the Roman Empire. By doing so, Wright answers the likes of the "Jesus Seminar" and the "New Quest" by showing that Jesus thought of himself and demonstrated through parable, person, and deed that he was Israel's Messiah becoming King. In his prior book, The New Testament and the People of God, Wright had laid the ground work of how history ...more
A very fine work. Wright is really speaking to the secular world of historical criticism, and he fights the battle on their terms using their rules- terms and rules I couldn't have stomached. As such, his work is helpful to the cause of Christianity because he successfully answers these fools according to their folly (1 Cor. 9:20, Prov. 26:5).

The work is still wonderful for Christians, but his (assumed) secular assumptions held his book back from being as phenomenal as it could have been. For e
In this book,NT Wright exhaustively develops his thesis on the worldview, mindset, intentions, and aims of Jesus of Nazareth using the methods and background put forth in the first book of this series. This is by no means a short read...there were times when I felt like saying "You've won me can stop giving examples!", but in the end I appreciate the depth and width of the exegesis. I've often wondered just what it was that Jesus said to the apostles on the road to Emmaus when he "be ...more
One of the greatest books on Jesus I have ever read... A Critical Realist (and New Perspectivist) approach to the Quest for the Historical Jesus. A historical analysis of first century Judaism(s) and how Jesus fit inside of and subverted it(them). Wright takes on 100 years of Jesus scholarship, outlines the flaws and successes, and stands upon the shoulders of giants to bring us to new heights in understanding the life (but also the death) of Jesus. Although a technical and scholastic book that ...more
Brian Thatcher
Took forever to finish it but finally conquered.

It was fascinating and long winded and beautiful. It obviously reaches at times but I will say it changed a lot of notions and mindsets I had about Jesus in the Gospels context. It paints Jesus as being nothing but relevant to 1st century Judaism, though having to be highly cryptic in the process so as to avoid premature capture.

Take your time on this one. You will have to buy it. There is too much so as to grasp it in one read through.

I started th
James Stacey
Spending 741 pages reading and thinking about Jesus seemed like a good idea to me. I love Tom Wright's freshness and insight. He manages to combine scholarly integrity with a pungent challenge to embrace the kingdom Jesus proclaimed.While I'm still not sure about every conclusion he draws in this book (in particular his unusual interpretation of what are usually taken as Jesus' references in the Gospels to his second coming) I found it stimulating. My only comfort when I regretfully reached the ...more
Oct 02, 2008 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that don't take Christianity seriously because of anachronistic jibberish
Recommended to Eric by: Ben McCoy
Shelves: christian
1) Sound academic arguments
2) Coherent use of (synoptic) scriptures
3) Middle ground approach on Biblical trustworthiness
4) Excellent historical perspective

1) 650 some pages
2) Segregates Biblical authors

While reading it, I learned a lot, I thought a lot, and I fell asleep on the couch a lot. Wright presents a coherent perspective on Jesus' self-image, while not hosing down orthodox Christian tradition. As much as I don't want to spend two months on his next books, I'm really interested
How can one give an NT Wright book any thing less than 5 stars? I just can't, even though I don't actually recommend this very long theological study to everyone. But, heck, Robert Lee(son) was reading it and sent me a copy and I can't let him one-up me. At least on theology! Wright spends a lot of time giving in-depth evidence for things I already believe (and you may too), but it is a wonderful trek to follow him through the labyrinth of manuscripts and books from Roman times and before with w ...more
Glenn Crouch
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read - and I did embark on it having first finished the first Volume, "The New Testament of the People of God". And I do highly recommend reading that first Volume as the arguments and methodologies used in this book are heavily based on what has gone before.

Now this is quite a large book as it does a thorough examination of Jesus via a scholarly approach to the Synoptic Gospels as well as other early sources, whilst grounding everything in the First Century Judai
Brian Collins
This is the second book in N. T. Wright's project on New Testament Theology, and its focus is on the historical Jesus. As is typical with Wright it is alternatively enlightening and problematic. Part I provides an excellent summary of the various debates and positions regarding the historical Jesus. Wright is firmly on the side of the synoptic gospels providing accurate historical information about Jesus; his critiques of the Jesus Seminar and other skeptics are incisive. However, Wright plays ...more
John Avery
Prof. Wright has done an amazing job with this book and the others in the series (probably all his books). He invests considerable research and historical methodology when he prepares to write. This book in particular makes an invaluable contribution to the case for the historical resurrection of Jesus. Although it is academic, it is written in such a way that most readers can find it accessible and it is a faith builder.
Brent Wilson
Impressive tome. Wright presents a refreshing and compelling thesis - that the historical Jesus is fairly close to what the text says, if read in a first-century Jewish and Roman-empire context.

The book engages current scholarship more than a typical lay book does - meant for academics more than the casual reader.

This one's staying on my bookshelf as a valued resource!
Very interesting composite picture of Jesus, which is worth testing as a hermeneutic when reading the gospels. My only beef is that the main thrust (i.e. Israel still in exile) is always implicit, so to speak. Whenever the main point of an argument is so "big" that it can always be counted to to be there implicitly, I get a little suspicious that it's not really there.
Very impressive book, especially considering the audience he wrote it too. One can wonder, though, how successful it will be among ears not ready to hear. Despite, the fact that he does not write for Chrsitians, Wright has pointed out a lot of really good things. One of the best is that 'his' Jesus (and I say this tongue firmly planted in cheek) does not look like him.
An excellent book with great insights. It broadens and deepen my view in seeing the connectedness of first century situation with the gospel account and life of Christ. Wright is able to articulate well about the relevance of the Kingdom of God in the message of Jesus during his life on earth. The message of beatitudes (also known as Sermon on the Mount) should be seen in the light of the Kingdom message. Wright also wrote really well how the resurrection of Jesus is more than just spiritual sig ...more
Amazing book on how Jesus would have viewed himself. Argues against much of the popular revisionist views of Jesus, yet N.T. Wright does challenge popular Christian perceptions of Jesus as well--allowing the Jesus of history, a first-century Palestinian Jew, speak life back into our understanding of who he was and what he taught. Great book.
I've been reading a few pages of this one here and there for a while, and finally finished it. It's not for the faint of heart (especially the first part, where Wright takes the temperature of Jesus studies for the past hundred years), but I'd recommend it for anyone even vaguely interested in what we can know about the historical Jesus.
Daniel Wright
Though it arranges its subject matter thematically, rather than as a commentary as such, there is scarcely a verse of the synoptic gospels that does not go unexamined in this stunning tour-de-force, touching on pretty much every notable Jesus-scholar of the last two centuries.
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N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGi ...more
More about N.T. Wright...

Other Books in the Series

Christian Origins and the Question of God (4 books)
  • The New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #1)
  • The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #3)
  • Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #4)
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is The New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, #1) Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters

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“if it is true that Jesus ultimately fits no known pattern within the first century,51 it is more or less bound to be true that he fits none within the twentieth.” 1 likes
“My proposal, then, as the way of making sense of all the data before me, is that Jesus believed it was his god-given vocation to identify with the rebel cause, the kingdom-cause, when at last that identification could not be misunderstood as endorsement.” 0 likes
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