Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 38, No 1-2 (2019)

The Historical, Rhetorical Jesus

John Mitrosky
Issued Date: 14 May 2019


This paper shares with readers a brief conversational moment in time approximately two years ago. Michel and I constantly imagine ever-changing theories, ideas and opinions regarding possible psychological aspects of an unknown "Historical Jesus." There is such a vast array of theories about the actual man in the first-century sandals, as there are theories about the reality, meaning and origin of the phrase "the Son of man," that both quests get lost and confused into an unknown abyss. What is historically true? What is imaginatively rhetorical? Who was Jesus? In spite of the historical unknowns, Einstein was right to say, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." And so, those of us who find these topics interesting press on imaginatively. As Michel taught me, "Imagination is the beginning of learning." Jesus was, at least in my humble opinion, a radical, young, wild man of his time and place, a healer and a teacher, whom we can't actually know personally. By contrast, Michel is a moral and ethical teacher of his time and place, of our time and place - the very best teacher I have had the pleasure to get to know personally. This is because Michel is such a patient and profound, insightful, and above all else, an honest man.

Download Media


DOI: 10.1558/rsth.38298



Arnal, William E. and Michel Desjardins (Eds.). 1997. Whose Historical Jesus?. Waterloo, ON: Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion, Wilfrid Laurier University Press.


Boccaccini, Gabriele. (Ed.). 2007. Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Desjardins, Michel. 1997. Peace, Violence and the New Testament. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press.

Knibb, Michael A. (Trans.). 1985. “1 Enoch 46:1-8.” In Outside the Old Testament, compiled by M. de Jonge. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy