Fortress Press

Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet

Jesus of Nazareth

Millenarian Prophet

Dale C. Allison (Author)


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Dale Allison's clearly written Jesus of Nazareth will enable people who have followed recent discussions to vindicate and reclaim the central religious significance of the historical Jesus. Allison makes a creative contribution to Jesus studies in several ways:

  • He offers new suggestions for establishing the authenticity of Jesus' word — including what he calls "the index of intertextual linkage" — and for the process of framing a convincing picture of the central thrust and purpose of the activity of Jesus.

  • Referring to fascinating cross-cultural millenarian parallels, he shows that the impetus for the pre-Easter Jesus movement was apocalyptic in nature and that the historical Jesus can best be understood as an eschatological prophet.

  • He presents the first full-length treatment of the question of Jesus and asceticism and shows that Jesus, far from the image suggested by some today, was driven by an apocalyptic asceticism that extended to matters of sex, food, and social relations.

Always evenhanded and fair, Allison's new work is nonetheless penetrating, acute, and provocative.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9780800631444
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 270
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Publication Date November 20, 1998


"At last a book on Jesus that lets him be a Jew of antiquity, however politically incorrect he may seem to modern eyes. Allison's book is like a breath of fresh air in the current Jesus debate. The updated defense of Schweitzer's apocalyptic prophet is entirely convincing."
— John J. Collins, University of Chicago

"Finally, a book that trumpets the return of the apocalyptic Jesus! Allison mounts a powerful counterattack against those who have spurned the view ... that Jesus expected an imminent transformation in history as we know it.... Allison has produced a persuasive argument that will not be easily overturned and must not be ignored."
— Bart D. Ehrman, University of North Carolina

"This wonderfully incisive contribution to the current Jesus debate carries its scholarship gracefully and lightly. Much more than just a put-down of portrayals of Jesus as a sapiential teacher, it is a full-scale presentation of Jesus as a millenarian prophet with an ascetic caste.... Original, vastly readable, and powerfully persuasive, it is not to be missed."
— John K. Riches, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Table of Contents


  1. The Jesus Tradition and the Jesus of History: How to Find a Millenarian Prophet

    An Imaginary Case Study
    The Method of John Dominic Crossan
    Quandaries, Alternatives, Paradigms
    The Best Research Program
    Themes and Rhetorical Strategies
    Running the Gauntlet
    Some Results
    Speculations on the Evolution of the Tradition
    Unscientific Postscript

    Detached Note: Some Common Features of Millenarianism

  2. The Eschatology of Jesus: Still Ratlos after All These Years

    Marcus Borg against E.P. Sanders
    The Case against Marcus Borg
    The Case against Stephen Patterson
    Some Particulars
    The Final Judgment
    The Resurrection of the Dead
    The Restoration of Israel
    The Great Tribulation
    The Language of Millenarian Eschatology
    Concluding Observations

  3. Jesus as Millenarian Ascetic; Deleting a Consensus

    Current Opinion
    Sexual Desire in the Jesus Tradition
    The Origin of the Complexes
    Renunciation and Eschatology
    The Functions of Jesus' Eschatological
    Final Remarks

    Index of Ancient Sources
    Index of Modern Authors