Origen

While the Gospel of Luke’s portrayal of a questioning Jesus has largely been ignored by many (most) contemporary scholars, Origen at least recognized the fact that interrogation was part of Jesus’ pedagogy. Commenting on the young Jesus’ presence in the Temple in the Gospel of Luke (2:41-52), Origen explains:

Because he was a small child, he is found ‘in the midst of teachers,’ sanctifying and instructing them. Because he was a small child, he is found ‘in their midst,’ not teaching them but ‘asking questions.’ He did this because it is appropriate to his age, to teach us what benefits boys, even if they are wise and learned. They should rather hear their teachers than want to teach them and not show off with a display of knowledge. He interrogated the teachers not to learn anything but to teach them by his questions. From one fountain of doctrine, there flow both wise questions and answers. It is part of the same wisdom to know what you should ask and what you should answer. It was right for the Savior first to become a master of learned interrogation. Later he would answer questions according to God’s reason and Word. (Homilies on the Gospel of Luke 19.6)

Though unlike most contemporary exegetes Origen recognizes Jesus as a questioner, he makes the same mistake of disregarding Jesus’ questions as thinly veiled propositions (“He interrogated the teachers not to learn anything but to teach them by his questions…”). This is unfortunate, for—as Douglas Estes notes—when we read the questions of Jesus as questions, we begin to become less concerned with what they are saying and begin to notice instead what they are asking.

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