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The God of Jesus-Our God?. Alexander J. M. Wedderburn

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Although it might seem natural that Jesus' beliefs about God should shape Christian theology, this has often not been the case. Jesus' beliefs about God, including such aspects as omnipotence and personality, were largely shaped by contemporary Judaism. His view of God's character–exercising impartiality and mercy in this world, but at times retribution in the next–was often distinctive, though not always. The questions about the divine nature that had exercised earlier philosophers and theologians and would continue to puzzle later ones were not his concern, and later discoveries and theories about the nature of the cosmos, still often so mysterious to us, were naturally not part of his thought-world. Similarly, the role that later theologians found for him within the divine Trinity was also alien to him. On the other hand, alternative attempts to argue about the existence and the nature of God on the basis of cosmology or human «religious experience» have led to no conclusive results. The man Jesus himself, however, offered moral teaching and a way of life that he believed, rightly or wrongly, reflected the nature and will of his God, and this is his lasting contribution, regardless of whatever divine reality does or does not lie behind it.

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