Unification Theology In Comparative Perspectives - Edited by Anthony J. Guerra - 1988

The Will of God and the Crucifixion of Jesus -- by Anthony J. Guerra

Although for the last fifteen years her endeavors have been primarily in the field of systematic theology, it is appropriate to honor Prof. Young Oon Kim in this essay which considers the Unification interpretation of the earthly ministry of Jesus in the light of contemporary New Testament Studies, for this was the area of her graduate theological study and het first Professorship at Ehwa University in Seoul was in New Testament. One of the central points of contention between Unification theology and particularly conservative Christian theologies is the former's assertion that the crucifixion of Jesus was not the primary intentionality of God for Jesus' earthly ministry.1 It is this issue which I wish to engage in the following essay.

Let me begin by saying a few words about some presuppositions in my work at this point. I am convinced that the laborious task of reconstructing the teachings of Jesus as opposed to general descriptions of the times of Jesus is essential to advance our appreciation of the self-understanding of Jesus. The endeavor to determine the authentic sayings of Jesus firstly and then to interpret those sayings in an historically responsible manner has occupied many of the best minds of NT scholarship for well over a century. In presenting the teachings of Jesus, I have restricted myself to those sayings which the consensus of form critical scholars identify as most likely to be the words of Jesus. Before the task of exegeting can begin, then, the material that we can be reasonably certain was spoken by Jesus needs to be decided.2 On this basis a claim that the post resurrection church's formulation of the intention of Jesus differed from that of Jesus may be evaluated. I am aware that the theological claim that the Will of God is/was that Jesus be followed rather than rejected and murdered by those to whom he came to serve two thousand years ago or for that matter its converse can never be fully verified or denied by the findings of the historical critical methods which I embrace. It is, nevertheless, my conviction that the historical results can suggest the relative plausibility of such claims, and on this question I think that Unification theology fares rather well.

I. The Teaching of Jesus

The Unification understanding of the mission of Jesus is to be found in chapter three entitled The Purpose of the Messiah in Level Four of the Divine Principle3. In an earlier version of the Divine Principle on which the present Level Four is directly based, the first subsection of the same chapter is entitled The Purpose of Jesus' Coming as the Messiah.4 In both cases the answer to the implicit question raised in these titles namely of the task of the Messiah is given by reasserting the theological context of Creation and Fall. Thus, it is affirmed that God is good and also that God's creation is good. The good purpose of God's creation was to have been realized when the first parents of the human race fulfilled the three blessings: individual perfection, a God-centered family life, and the responsibility of becoming loving caretakers of creation.5 At this point, God, humanity, and all things would have felt the joy which God originally intended at the creation.

However, because of the fall of the first human parents, humanity has been separated from God, and ever since has suffered estrangement from the self, from other selves, and from the entire created order both during earthly life as well as in the afterlife. Thus the purpose of Creation has never been realized.

According to the Divine Principle, God's will for the fulfillment of the purpose of the creation, although frustrated for a time, will not be left eternally unrealized. Quoting Isaiah 46:11: "I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass, I have purposed and I will do it," Unification theology teaches that God will accomplish God's purpose of creation. The same love which was the motive of God's creation remains the motive for God's salvific work throughout history, and the fulfillment of this love on both the individual and cosmic levels is the eschatological deed and not a cataclysmic dissolution of the natural order.

The affirmation that God's eschatological activity will realize the purposes of God's creative activity is a sine qua non for the defense of the sovereignty of God. In the Divine Principle, the term 'salvation' is equivalent to the term 'restoration.' God's salvation work means God's restoration of fallen and sinful humanity to the originally intended state of goodness. The full human potential for love and creativity is to be realized on the individual, family, societal, national, world and cosmic levels.

At the same time, however, I would maintain that salvation of restoration cannot be realized by simply undoing the original sin and rectifying the first moment of fallen human activity, because history has continued so as to complexify things between that beginning and the time of eschatological fulfillment. Thus salvation or restoration, I would affirm, necessarily entails more than a Paradise regained. Further, the Divine Principle asserts along with Irenaeus that Paradise was never actually achieved, as the first Adam and Eve, born infants, never realized their God-given opportunity for Sonship and Daughtership. Thus the second Adam brings into creation a love never before experienced.

The quality of God's love is to be manifested first in human relationships on earth and thereby the same quality of love may be experienced in the afterlife. The Kingdom of Heaven (or the Kingdom of God) is to be established on the earth and then and only then may it be experienced in the spirit world. Religion has been rightly critiqued in the modern era for directing attention to an other-worldly bliss instead of encouraging present spiritual and social reform.

In contrast to the Divine Principle's approach to the Jesus question, a great deal of 20th century theology has displaced emphases on creation and eschatology and retreated into Christomonism. It should be said, however, that a growing movement of biblical theologians who affirm the import of the canonical shape of the Scriptures would seem to support the form, if not the content, of the Divine Principle's theological program. The theological order of Creation, salvation history centered in Christ, and Eschatology is sustained by the canonical order of the Scripture -- namely Genesis with its opening chapters asserting God as Creator, the historical books of the Old Testament which are seen by Christians as the preparatio evangelium, the gospels and their proclamation of the Christ followed by a description of the work of the Spirit in history or the Church -- as in the Book of Acts and the Pauline Epistles, and finally the Book of Revelation with its apocalyptic and indeed millenialist orientation.6 In other words, the order of the appearance of Old Testament and New Testament writings in the canon is itself adduced here as one warrant for the creation-fall-salvation history-eschatology theological program.

I want now to move from the more or less formal question of the theological context in which to understand the mission of Jesus to the more material question of the Divine Principle's understanding of the content of that mission. If, as the Divine Principle wants to maintain, the intentions of God and Jesus for the messianic mission were different from the results of Jesus' earthly work, then the efforts to recover the authentic sayings of Jesus, as distinguished from the post-Easter early Church proclamation, are of major interest to the student of the Divine Principle. It is axiomatic that the early Church was left with the inevitable task of interpreting and proclaiming what Jesus Christ had done and not what Jesus intended to do. As the difference between Jesus' proclamation and the proclamation of the early Church is crucial to the Divine Principle's evaluation of Jesus' earthly ministry, it is important to provide the necessary background to an analysis of Jesus' teaching.

Since the publication of Johannes Weiss' Die Predigt Jesu Vom Reiche Gottes, the theological world has been reawakened to the centrality of the Kingdom of God in the preaching of Jesus.7 In the ancient Jewish setting the symbol 'Kingdom of God' emerges with the marriage between two traditions, namely the Ancient Near Eastern myth of the Kingship of God and the amphictyonic Heilsgeschichte.

Although the language of the symbol is derived from the myth of the Kingship of God, for malkuth -- reign or kingdom -- is the noun derived from the root M-L-K 'reign' or 'to be king,' the material reference of the symbol is taken from the myth of salvation history. Ps. 145:11-13 expresses this conviction that it is the mighty deeds of Yahweh that manifest that he is indeed King:

They talk of the glory of the Kingdom and tell of thy might, they proclaim to their fellows how mighty are thy deeds, how glorious the majesty of thy Kingdom.

The Israelite prophets were to express the myth that God is guiding his people in history. Catastrophes were judgment upon his people and their Kings for failing to be faithful; the temporary reprieves were signs that God continued to act on behalf of his people. In accord with this conviction, the Babylonians' conquest of Jerusalem and the resultant exile of many of its people and then the later decision of Cyrus, King of Persia, to allow the captives to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple were interpreted by the Prophets. Later, when Israel fell prey to several foreign powers in the few centuries before Christ, the apocalyptic movement was born, which sustained the conviction that God is "for" his people even under the dire circumstances of the age. The intensity of the apocalypticists' hope that soon evil was to be abolished and God's kingdom established is expressed in such writings as Daniel and the Assumption of Moses, which were written shortly before the time of Jesus.8

And as I looked, the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. And to him one like a son of Man was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Dan. 7:llb-l4)

And then his [God's] kingdom shall appear throughout his creation,
And then Satan shall be no more,
And sorrow shall depart with him

For the Most High will arise, the Eternal God alone,
And he will appear to punish the Gentiles
Then, thou, O Israel, shalt be happy.
(Assumption of Moses 10)

In the light of the long tradition of ancient Jewish myth and the immediate context of apocalyptic fervor which had seized many of Jesus' contemporaries, we must view Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Whereas the nineteenth century had exalted the notion of the kingdom of God as a great ethical ideal, Weiss demonstrated that Jesus' conception of the kingdom of God was convergent with that of Jewish Apocalypticism albeit with a few significant modifications. Although Weiss never explicitly says so, I take it that he reasons to this conclusion along the following lines: if Jesus uses language and concepts of a tradition well known to his hearers, then he must agree substantially with it, or otherwise he would need to state his differences with the same. In this section, I proceed directly to examine the relevant sayings of Jesus from the Synoptics which are thought to be genuine by the consensus of form critics (see appendix). From this material, I shall describe the characteristic features of Jesus' teaching.

Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom of God has both continuities as well as discontinuities with that of the prevalent apocalyptic thought of his age.9 Take, e.g., Luke 17:20-21:

The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed (meta paratereseos) nor will they say, Lo, here it is! or there, for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you (entos hymon estin).

Bultmann has pointed out that this is an authentic logia of Jesus which is now found in the secondary form of the Greek philosophical apophthegms.10 The exegete of Luke 17:20f must take into account that the affirmation in this saying is a counterpoint poised against a negation.

The words "with signs to be observed" of the RSV translate the two Greek words meta paratereseos. The noun parateresis, RSV "signs to be observed", is a term often used in ancient astronomical texts and is best translated as "observation."11 Further, the preposition Meta here has the sense of "by means of (i.e. its instrumental usage) rather than "with."12 Thus the Greek phrase is more properly rendered in English as "by means of observation". It refers in the Lukan verse to the action of those awaiting the coming of the Kingdom rather than to the manner in which this kingdom is to come. Hence the negation in Luke 17:20 is directed against the notion that the kingdom of Heaven is in any way advanced by disinterested observers. Jesus is critiquing the aloof and unsympathetic attitude of his inquirers here rather than polemicizing against the apocalyptic view of history. 13 The emphasis is placed upon the internal state or attitude of the individual which is a condition for the reception of the kingdom of God. In this sense, it may be granted that Jesus is objecting to the apocalypticists' penchant for divining the time of the eschaton by external signs and pseudo-historical calculations.14 Jesus, however, emphatically sustains the polarity of divine and human activity. Jesus objects to the superficiality of attitudes towards the kingdom, but he denies here neither responsible human behavior nor the view that the kingdom of God will have temporal and tangible manifestations.

It may be helpful to recall Weiss's suggestion that Jesus holds to a cosmological dualism. The division is between the invisible cosmos which includes God and good and evil spirits on the one side, and the visible or historical plane on the other. Weiss speculated that Jesus believed that the kingdom of God has come in the invisible world, and as proof he adduces the healings which were the consequence of his powers of exorcism. This power is the evidence of God's reign which Jesus has now proclaimed and manifested.15 The transformation of the historical order, however, is not completed, and thus the kingdom is not seen by all as having arrived. The conservative or traditional exegesis of Luke 17:20-1, which has made them a mainstay for an exclusively spiritualized concept of the Kingdom of God, cannot be sustained by a critical reading of the same. Exegetes today who in no way affirm Unification theology concur with this conclusion.

An important aspect of Jesus' teaching on the Kingdom is revealed by analysis of Luke ll:2b-4, the Lord's prayer:

Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.

The similarity between this prayer of Jesus and the Kaddish prayer, which was in use in the Jewish synagogues at the time of Jesus, is striking.16

Magnified and sanctified be his great name in the world that he has created according to his will. May he establish his kingdom in your lifetime and in your days and in the lifetime of all the house of Israel, even speedily and at a near time.

It appears, however, that Jesus consciously modified this last mentioned prayer in accordance with his own stylistic and theological inclinations, i.e., shortening the petition of the prayer and changing from the formal third person to the intimate second person singular.17 In Jesus' prayer, the opening petition for the coming of the Kingdom is followed by three personal, concrete petitions for bread, for forgiveness of sins, and for protection from temptation. Perrin has described them as follows: "the petitions...are, as it were, explorations of fundamental possibilities for the experience of God as king in human life." The prayer assigns a positive role to the petitioner before God and the intent here is "... to link the experience of God to the response of man."18

The extraordinarily confronting and radical dimension of Jesus' teaching is best illustrated by his so-called proverbial sayings:

Luke 9:60a:
Leave the dead to bury the dead.

Matt. 5:39b-41:
If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

These passages comprise two of the radical proverbial sayings of Jesus. William Beardslee has spoken of the diametrically opposed intention of the synoptic proverbs to that of the traditional proverb:

...the characteristic thrust of the synoptic proverbs, however, is not the cautious and balanced judgment so typical of much proverbial literature.... Such a middle-of the-road style has as its presupposition the project of making a continuous whole of one's existence.19

As can be seen from the parallel Matt 8:22, the evangelist has added the clause "but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God" in order to diminish the radicalness of the demand. The setting of the original saying is impossible to determine, but its message is clear: absolute devotion to the will of God is required, and all other commitments, including those most respected and intimate social responsibilities (such as the proper burial of a deceased family member) are to be denied or at least subordinated to the ultimate cause. Luke specifies this cause as the call to evangelize (9:60b), and Matthew understands Jesus' command to be a call to discipleship ("follow me"). Similarly, the saying of Matt 5:39b-41 calls for a radically new disposition of mind towards oppression. It demands the hearer to transcend the instinctual responses of revenge and hatred. In the historical context where Roman soldiers held the privileges of impressing local inhabitants into immediate, temporary service, Jesus makes the demand concrete: "let him have your cloak as well" and "go with him two miles." He calls for more than a change of heart or attitudes but for changed behavior which reflects the internal transformation.

Critical to an understanding of the difference between Jesus and the apocalypticists contemporary to him are Matt 7:13-14 and Mark 10:15:

Matt. 7:13-14:
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Mark 10:15:
Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.

These two Jesus sayings, as well as Luke 9:62, Mark 7:15, and Matt. 5:44-48, have been called paranetical or exhortatory sayings.20 In each of these sayings the importance of the hearer's response is stressed by Jesus.

A commonplace exegetical remark on Matt. 7:13-14 is that Jesus believed that the majority will be punished with eternal destruction. Jesus, however, exhorts his listeners "to enter the narrow gate" and assumes their capacity to do so. In Mark 10:15, the entry into the kingdom of God is connected to the condition of becoming like a little child. The verbs used in Mark 10:15, "receive" and "enter," are coordinated and underscore the significance of the human response. The simile of the child here enhances the understanding of the divine-human relationship and counters the political language of kingdom.

A minimalist statement of Jesus' understanding of the Kingdom of God would permit the following summary. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God as present in one sense and pointed to his exorcisms and healings as evidence for this claim. Jesus apparently thought that the coming of the Kingdom of God was directly related to the destruction of the Kingdom of Satan. Jesus considered his own victorious battles with the demonic as manifestations of the reign of God. Jesus also spoke of the Kingdom of God as a future event. The total transformation of the historical and cosmic order, which Jesus envisioned most probably from a modified apocalyptic perspective, necessitated this element of futurity. These contradictory temporal assertions concerning the coming of the Kingdom of God should be construed within the theological framework of the emphasis in his sayings on the factor of human response, which we have noted throughout our exegesis. To be sure, the possibility or opportunity of the Kingdom of God involves a prior act of giving which is entirely of God. Nevertheless, Jesus' demand for his listeners' response, described as entering, receiving, etc., leaves open the moment of realization, of acceptance.

One final observation before I turn directly to the question of the Divine Principle's understanding of the crucifixion. That Jesus' understanding of the Kingdom of God is distinctive from that of his contemporaries can be evidenced further by his address to God as 'Abba,' 'Father.' As a parent, God is profoundly concerned for the well-being in an inclusive sense of God's children. When the Divine Principle says that the Messiah proclaims God's Kingdom and seeks to provide the way for others to become the children of God, i.e., the first blessing, to create a human society which lives in accord with the radical demand of the love of God, i.e., the second blessing, and finally that God's will and rule includes economic wellbeing for all people and ecological harmony -- dimensions of the third blessing -- I believe that it is doing no more than making explicit the implications of a God who is the maker of heaven and earth. To sever the relationship between God the Creator and God the Redeemer is a momentous error. God as Parent can by no means signify less than our highest conception of the human as Parent who seeks the spiritual, intellectual, as well as material well-being of his/her children.21

II. Salvation Through the Cross

A. The Crucifixion of Jesus

It is a commonplace in the Christian tradition that an understanding of the Old Testament is necessary to understand the significance of Jesus. The Israelites were a people who were especially prepared to receive the Messiah. The Old Testament is the record of the religious history of this special people among whom Jesus was born. The immediate context of Jesus' advent was one in which apocalyptic expectations were heightened. There were indeed a sufficient number of messianic cults in the time of Jesus to rival the religious pluralism of our own day.22 The Divine Principle interprets the Old Testament traditions as well as the immediate context just mentioned as the providential preparation to receive the Messiah.

… context just mentioned as the providential preparation to receive the Messiah.

Now from a common-sense point of view (and Divine Principle often argues in this mode) this preparation is understandable. The Messiah should come to an environment and a people who are prepared to understand and welcome him. Now the fact is that Jesus was not accepted by the people whom we say God prepared. According to the Divine Principle God's will is not accomplished by the fulfillment of God's portion of responsibility alone, but only in conjunction with the fulfillment of the human portion of responsibility. Indeed, I have pointed out above how Jesus himself presented the Kingdom as a possibility given wholly by God but that his message was insistent on the need of human response in order for this possibility to be realized. God and Jesus were clearly not culpable, but there was rejection and jealousy on the part of some leaders of Judaism and the Roman authorities. Both the Synoptics as well as the Fourth Gospel testify unanimously to such antagonism.23

It is one of the most historically reliable assertions concerning Jesus that he was crucified, which was a Roman form of execution. Now, Jewish polemics against the incipient Christian faith adduced the fact of Jesus' crucifixion as proof that Jesus was not the promised Messiah whom Israel awaited. At least partly in order to counter this Jewish polemic, early Christian traditions were developed which advanced Jesus' death on the cross as predestined and as the original plan of God.24

The Divine Principle itself proposes a mediating position between that of Judaism and orthodox Christianity in terms of its interpretation of the cross, and of course -- like most mediating positions -- it is offensive to both the extremes against which it stands. Jesus is the promised Messiah, but the way of the cross is necessitated by the critical failure of the centrally prepared forerunner and disciples to love and fully cooperate with Jesus.25 The prophet's failure to cooperate with Jesus led to the misunderstanding and enmity which resulted in the death of Jesus. Certainly, misunderstanding and enmity cannot be the will of the loving parental God which Jesus proclaimed. Furthermore, understanding and love on the part of Jesus' contemporaries would not have brought him to crucifixion.

This sentiment is echoed in I Cor. 2:8 -- "None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." Under these circumstances of rejection it was God's will that Jesus walk the path of suffering through the crucifixion. But again, the Divine Principle's perspective is that these very circumstances reflected a defiance of the Will of God. The way of the cross is seen as a secondary course, an expression of the circumstantial will of God. God never violates the realm of human responsibility, but God's infinite love and creativity works goodness even in the most evil circumstances.

B. The Extent of Salvation Available Through the Cross and the Purpose of the Second Coming of Christ

Unlike the case for historic Christianity, for Unificationists death on the cross was not the mission that God had originally intended for Jesus. Also, unlike the position of historic Judaism, for Unificationists Jesus is the Messiah who had fulfilled God's painful secondary dispensation through the cross. According to the Divine Principle, God's will was for all of Israel -- and, indeed, for the entire world -- to welcome, love, and follow Jesus, the Christ. Complete salvation would have been realized -- the fulfillment of the purpose of creation, the restoration of the historical order as well as the created (or natural) order; the Jewish and Christian worlds would never have been divided. Furthermore, there would have been no embarrassing delay of the parousia because the Messiah would have completed his mission 2000 years ago, and thus there would have been no need for a second coming.

Nevertheless, the Divine Principle asserts that "spiritual salvation" was provided by the secondary course of salvation which was accomplished through Jesus' crucifixion. I quote here the Outline of The Principle, Level 4: "Jesus' blood on the cross became the price for the redemption of mankind. By resurrecting the crucified Jesus, God opened up a way of spiritual salvation, a way to a realm free from Satanic invasion."26

Now, I for one have been perplexed for several years in trying to understand what the Divine Principle means by the term "spiritual salvation." At the Evangelical-Unification dialogue in 1978, I first suggested that spiritual salvation may be equivalent to the traditional notion of the justification of the individual before God.27 Sanctification, however, is not achieved, and the New Testament itself contains excoriations against the sinful behavior of baptized Christian communities. The saved Christian is still a sinner. Further, the children of saved Christians inherit original sin and therefore require baptism. According to the Divine Principle, not only the sanctification of the individual must await the second advent of Christ, but also both the justification and the sanctification of the family qua family, the nation qua nation, and the world qua world.

To put it yet another way, the first blessing is restored through Jesus, but the realization of the second and third blessings awaits the time of the second coming.

Unificationists' valuing of sacrificial love is widely underestimated by critics from mainstream Christianity because of the former's espousal of the belief that the crucifixion was only the second best way for Jesus to do the will of his Father. The prevalence of this misunderstanding, no doubt, arises, in the main, from Unificationism's own failure to point out deafly that it understands Jesus is the "one who came to serve and not to be served," and that it further holds that even if Jesus had received sufficient support to allow him to have pursued the original course of salvation, he still would have undoubtedly lived each moment of his natural life in the loving service of God and other human beings. Indeed, Jesus' love for God and humanity was of the same quality and intensity during his entire earthly ministry as at the scene of the cross. I believe and most other Unificationists, I think, would also agree, that if a longer life had been possible, Jesus would have continued to walk in the shoes of the servant, but with the heart of the Father.

Nevertheless, with Jesus the possibility had been given for the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven; but its realization awaited the response of his contemporaries, and was frustrated by their recalcitrance. And yet, there could be no coercion to elicit the genuine response to Jesus' radical demand to love.


A few years ago, after listening to my lecture on the Mission of Jesus, Prof. Hans Schwarz, Universitat Regensburg, suggested an interesting reformulation of the Unification position. He proposed that Unificationists simply affirm that Jesus was sent by God to fulfill the first blessing (see above) and then, they could proceed to state that the fulfillment of the second and third blessings await the second coming of Christ. The attractiveness of this proposal is that it would relieve Unification theology of accusations from those who think that the assertion that less than the entire Will of God was accomplished in the death and resurrection of Jesus somehow impeaches the integrity of God and Jesus. The most attractive feature of the proposal, however, is that it does accurately state the Unification understanding of what did happen in Jesus and also what should happen at the Second Coming. Nevertheless, both historical and theological objections may be raised against this alternative formulation. The evidence suggests that Jesus did envision a total transformation of the historical and cosmic order and most importantly of the quality of human social relationships as well as the God and human relationship. There are no genuine sayings of Jesus that clearly state that the Will of God required that Jesus should be rejected and crucified, and certainly there is no way, on the basis of the historical data, to affirm that Jesus thought the crucifixion was the predestined, original Will of God as some quarters of the post-resurrection Church proclaimed. On the theological level, the cost of the proposal would also be high. For one thing, an affirmation that betrayal and murder is mandated by God seriously undercuts the prophetic moral and social ethical edge of Unification and all Christian theology. Moreover, a central emphasis in Unification theology is on affirming the polarity of God's gracious activity and human responsibility. It is therefore certainly important to allow for the possibility of human failure to respond to the Will of God in the assessment of even the most momentous of providential events.


The following list includes the material which the competent scholarly opinion would consider as authentic. It is reproduced from Norman Perrin's Jesus and the Language of the Kingdom, p. 41:

(a) The Kingdom sayings, Luke 11:20; 17:20-21; Matt. 11:12.

(b) The Lord's Prayer in a version close to Luke 11:2-4.

(c) The proverbial sayings, Mark 3:27; 3:24-26; 8:35; Luke 9:62; Mark 10:23b. 25; Luke 9:60a; Matt. 7:13-14; Mark 10:31; 7:15; 10:15; Luke 14:11 (cf. 16:15); Matt. 5:39b-41; 5:44-48.

(d) The major parables:

The Hid Treasure and The Pearl, Matt. 13:44-46.

The Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost (Prodigal) Son, Luke 15:3-32.

The Great Supper, Matt. 22:1-14; Luke 14:16-24; Gos. Thorn. 92:10-35.

The Unjust Steward, Luke 16:1-9

The Workers in the Vineyard, Matt: 20.116.

The Two Sons, Matt. 21:28-32.

The Children in the Marketplace, Matt. 11:16-19.

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Luke 18:9-14.

The Good Samaritan, Luke 10:29-37.

The Unmerciful Servant, Matt. 18:23-35.

The Tower Builder and King Going to War, Luke 14:28-32.

The Friend at Midnight, Luke 11:5-8.

The Unjust Judge, Luke 18:1-8.

The Leaven, Luke 13:20-21; Gos. Thorn. 97:2-6.

The Mustard Seed, Mark 4:30-32; Gos. Thorn. 84:26-33.

The Seed Growing by Itself, Mark 4:26-29; Gos. Thorn. 85:15-19.

The Sower, Mark 4:3-8; Gos. Thorn. 82:3-13.

The Wicked Tenants, Mark 12:1-12; Gos. Thorn. 93:1-18.


1. Although the question of theological intentionality under consideration here is not unrelated to the issue of the messianic consciousness of Jesus, this latter concern so much debated in earlier decades of this century will not be discussed here.

2. The Jesus Seminar has set itself the task of re-evaluating all material attributed to Jesus in the New Testament and related literature and intends to offer a statement of the current consensus of scholarly opinion on this significant question, (see Robert W. Funk "The Issue of Jesus" in Forum, 1.1. (1985) 7-12. In this essay, however, I rely on the consensus which had been achieved by the last generation of New Testament students (cf. appendix) and eagerly await the results of the present effort.

3. Outline of the Principle: Level Four (NY, NY: HSA-UWC, 1980).

4. Divine Principle (Washington, D.C.: HSA-UWC, 1973) 139-163.

5. Divine Principle, 140.

6. The foremost representative of this movement is Brevard S. Childs. See his seminal book Biblical Theology in Crisis (Philadelphia: Westminister, 1970) 105 and more recently Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979) and the companion volume on the New Testament soon to be in circulation.

7. Johannes Weiss, Die Predigtjesu vom Reiche Gottes (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1892).

8. The Ascension of Moses is usually dated in the first century c.e. but the traditions used for its composition are probably from the second century b.c.e. See Helmut Koesrer, Introduction to the New Testament (2 vols. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982) 257.

9. See Norman Perrin's exposition of the relationship between apocalpyticism and Jesus' teaching on the kingdom of God in Jesus and the Language of the Kingdom (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1976) and further Paul Volz, Die Eschatologie der Judischen Gemeinde in neutestamentliche Zeitaler (Tubingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1934).

10. Rudolf Bultmann, History of the Synoptic Tradition, tr. J. Marsh (New York: Harper and Row, 1963) 25.

11. See Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian Literature (2d rev. ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago, 1979) 622.

12. W. Grundmann, TDNT 7 (1968) 722.

13. I disagree with Norman Pernn, op. at. AA.

14. See R. Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament (New York: Scribers, 1951) 6.

15. cf. Luke 11:20 (par Matt. 12:28) on Jesus' imminent eschatology.

16. Pemn, 28.

17. Pernn, 47-48.

18. Perrin, 48.

19. W.A. Beardslee, "Uses of the Proverb in the Synoptic Gospels," Interpretation 24 (1970)71.

20. Pernn, 53f.

21. A premise of analogical discourse about God is, of course, that God is transcendent and cannot be adequately described by human language and concepts. My hermeneutical presupposition is that for analogical language to be applied meaningfully to God it must signify at least as much as when used of human or other beings.

22. No doubt, this traditional perspective needs to be significantly nuanced. From the apocalyptic literature of the time there are very few direct references to a single messiah figure but rather more often to two or more figures. See John J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination (New York: Crossroad, 1984), 113, 122.

23. It is absolutely impermissible, however, to use the historical actions of a few individuals as grounds for anti-semitism. See Andrew M. Wilson, "A Unification Position On The Jewish People"', Journal of Ecumenical Studies 20:2 (Spring, 1983) 191-208.

24. Nevertheless, the Christian theologian may not escape the full implications of the creedal affirmation that Jesus is truly man. These implications must include the fact of the human person's vulnerability to social and historical contingency. Every person is confronted with the contingency of the other's actions and reactions toward him- or herself, and there is no truly human person who can evade the consequences of the social forces which impinge upon him or her. Perhaps I should be most blunt here as the theological resistance to accepting the social contingency of a truly human Jesus is inveterate. To accept the implication of Jesus as truly man entails the acceptance of the possibility of the murder of Jesus by his contemporaries as a possibility grounded in the human condition. I cannot say that I accept the full implications of the assertion that one is truly man unless I accept that today other(s) may choose to destroy this one with the means at hand. Christian theologians have been extremely loath to acknowledge the social contingency which accompanies the full force of the affirmation that Jesus is truly man.

25. For a discussion of the Unification understanding of the relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist see Thomas Boslooper -- "Unification and Biblical Studies" in Henry O. Thompson Unity and Diversity (NY, NY: Rose of Sharon, 1984) 297-323, and Anthony J. Guerra "The Historical Jesus and Divine Principle", in Frank K. Flinn Hermeneutics and Horizons: The Shape of the Future (conference series 11; New York: Rose of Sharon, 1982)49-59.

26. Outline p. 82. This quotation raises the question whether it should be understood as assenting to the classical ransom theory of atonement. I think that a reading of the entire source makes such a conclusion unwarranted. A dominant theme in the so-called second part of the Divine Principle is, nevertheless, that God allows Satan his influence over humanity which he has gained by the first ancestors' willing submission.

27. See Richard Quebedeaux and Rodney Sawatsky (eds.) Evangelical-Unification Dialogue (Conference Series 3, New York: Rose of Sharon, 1979) 137-8. 

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