A PILGRIMAGE WITH JESUS OF NAZARETH INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY Daniel J. Theron, B.D., M.A., Th./Ph.D. The uniqueness of his book lies in its philosophy of changing, progressive, interpretations of the meandering pilgrimage of Jesus and his pilgrims into the twenty-first century. Jesus was born while a vast cultural and religious tsunami inundated the Greco-Roman world. This possibly onetime heretic rabbi led in snapping moorings of age-old anchored Judaic life and thinking lashed down by hundreds of unbearable prescriptions and proscriptions. Crucifying this admired, innocent man, the Messiah for many, created a powerful catalyst for all centuries to come. Employing ancient Israeli custom of history enhancement with lores and legends, his followers proclaimed his life with extraordinary lores and legends. Thousands of Jewish converts began a magnificent procession still lasting into the twenty-first century. While prosecuting believers, this crucifixion catalyst struck a young, brilliant, dedicated Pharisee, likely an approving witness of the crucifixion himself. Miraculously Christianity’s theologically oriented, indefatigable missionary-heretic is born — the Apostle Paul. In the Greco-Roman world he founded what became the Church universal. His letters constitute his Gospel before the Gospels. Jerusalem’s destruction (A.D. 70) added many Jewish Christians to this Church. Translations of their oral, Aramaic, Messiah traditions inspired some twenty-one Gospels. The Bible is constituted. Lores and legends will remain important, even today, and symbolic of God’s omnipotence and presence in human life. The Church became the Trustee of Christianity. In the Nicene Creed it ignored the Old Testament, Pauline, and Gospel monotheism compass. It lost all Judaic support. It created an insufferable bureaucracy. Another fullness of time — the Reformation eventuated. Part of the Church recognized another Gordian knot confronting it. Rather than cutting it in two, it cut the rope behind it, and has been dragging an ever increasing knot along. Today an inevitable fullness of time confronts the Trustee as it confronted Jesus and Paul. Forty creeds and confessions notwithstanding, unless the Trustee cuts the knot in two as they did, the great procession is in grave, grave danger in the rationalistic twenty-first century, for pilgrims are leaving! Read the book and see for yourself.
Dr. Daniel J. Theron’s career is variegated: Classics, theology, history, and finances; Lecturer in the Classics, University of Pretoria, South Africa; a Professor of New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary; the Wall Street business world; semiretirement devoted to writing and publishing. Dr. Theron authored books, articles, and book reviews: Evidence of Tradition . . . , a textbook for graduate students in New Testament studies; Out of Ashes, The Boers Struggle for Freedom. . . (South African history); Hear our Prayers and Hymns, O Lord, We Pray. . . (devotional); The Apostle Paul, His Gospel Before the Gospels.