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Jesus Christ, Learning Teacher

Author Mark Chater
Publisher SCM £19.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780334059684

This is a really absorbing book, clearly written and profoundly thought-provoking. It is a detailed and meticulously annotated study of Jesus as a teacher and of the pedagogical example he sets. The term ‘learning teacher’ in modern educational parlance often means a specialist dealing with dyslexic or otherwise disabled pupils, but this is not the sense in which the term is used here. Rather, the author points out that all good teachers positively need to continue to learn, and demonstrates very effectively that this was true of the earthly Christ too. However he also explicitly maintains that he is not attempting to draw any Christological conclusions. Frankly, I do not see how he can avoid this, and I do not think he has managed to – but that doesn’t detract from his arguments. He also deliberately downplays the historical context of Jesus’s teaching, and therefore of his learning too, and I would have liked an extra chapter that tackled this aspect more fully. However, the book is essentially an examination of issues, seeking to involve the reader in the process rather than offering conclusions, and in that it succeeds superbly.

Reviewed by ALAN WAKELY

New Testament Analysis, Education