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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
Perfection (of Jesus)
PERFECTION (of Jesus).—Christian writers generally take for granted the perfection of their Lord. They point to the records, and declare that such is the impression which they make on the honest reader. And that is not the mere begging of the question which it seems. Men judge of goodness by the eye. The vision of faith comes first; thought comes later with its justifications.
1. One note of perfection, though merely a negative one, is sinlessness. Hebrews 4:15 says that though He was tried in all things as we are, Christ remained without sin. Can that be proved or made clear? Certain difficulties suggest themselves. (1) Only the merest fragment of that life is known. Before His story begins, Jesus had lived for thirty years in this world, which is full to overflowing of all manner of sin. How can we be sure that no stain ever touched the purity of His soul during all those buried years, silent for ever now in quiet Nazareth? (2) There is also the whole story of a man’s inward life; the dreams of the secret heart, the fancies cherished in the recesses of fond imagination, the converse which the soul holds with itself. What record can lay bare that hidden and withdrawn, but most real and vital, region of the spirit’s life, with all its startling depths and unexpected glories?
One witness can testify of that—the spirit’s own consciousness in the presence of God, who has been the unseen companion of all that life. And we gather from the Gospels that Jesus was weighed down by no sense of sin. It is the saints who have the keenest sense of sin. Their inward thought has always placed them in a line with the publican in the Temple who would not so much as lift his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast and cried, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner’ (Luke 18:13). Jesus, among the saints, is unique in this matter: no word of self-reproach, no hint of any thought or inward struggle which He deplored, ever falls from His lips. See, further, art. Sinlessness.
2. Another note of perfection is that Jesus stands above the various types and classes of men. Humanity is parcelled out among men. They have their peculiar excellences and differences; but these are usually only a part of our human nature. The most royally endowed among men are but fragments. Our life is composed of three elements—thought, and will, and feeling; and according as one or other of these may preponderate, we have men of action, men of thought, men of passion. Jesus eludes any such classification: He has affinities with each of them; their excellences inhere in Him with none of their defects.
(a) Jesus has affinities with the artist and the poet. His eye rested on the beauty of the earth with the poet’s joy and understanding. The common sights mirror themselves in His teaching: the lilies in their glory, the birds among the branches, the ravens seeking their food from God, seed-time and harvest, sowing and reaping. The face of this goodly universe spake joy within His heart. And He looked with loving, discerning eyes on all the pageant of human life. When we read His words, the life of His day flows past us. And His glance was deep as well as wide. With what irony He sketches the indecision of the Pharisees, in the story of the children who will play neither at funerals nor at weddings! What deeper criticism of a prudential morality is there than in the words ‘he that saveth his life shall lose it’? what clearer perception of the hopelessness of a man’s attempt at self-deliverance than the parable of the house swept and garnished but empty? There is His indictment of the Pharisees (Matthew 23). It is the most passionate invective in literature. But the marvel of it, the inner justification of it, is that there with utter clearness and precision He lays bare the essential evil of Pharisaism. Passion easily contents itself with strong denunciation. The words of Jesus are a stream of lava seven times heated from a burning heart; but they are full of light; they track the hidden ways of pride and self-seeking in the religious heart. We see in them the thinker, the seer before whose glance secret things lie open and bare, as well as the prophet with his passion for simplicity and truth.
Jesus was an artist also in His teaching. He was not content to bring before men truths about God and the way of life. He clothed His teaching in beauty. He uttered the deep things of the Kingdom in parables. And these are simple, pellucid, beautiful as with the loveliness of waters stilled at even. See art. Poet.
(b) There are the men of action, men in whom the will is predominant. Jesus shows them their ideal. He was no dreamer, but a man of deeds. Will was as mighty in Him as thought. He impressed all with a sense of power and mastery. The people recognized that note in His teaching: He spake with authority, and not as the scribes. It was felt at Nazareth when they took up stone to stone Him and He passed through their midst (Luke 4:30), and at Gethsemane when the soldiers fell back before the majesty of His bearing (John 18:6). He dominated friend and foe by the calm strength of a sovereign will. And His days were filled with active service, teaching and healing, so that St. Peter summed up His life as that of One ‘who went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38). Men of action have their limitations. Their energy outstrips the illumination of their minds; they work for the day and its needs; their outlook is narrow and dim. But Jesus ever fed the springs of action with thought. He was no less than thirty years of age when He was baptized in Jordan. He had been content to live with His thoughts and simple duties, perfecting there, in patient obedience, mind and heart and will for the great work. And even after the baptism, when the call had come, He went first to the wilderness, there in prayer and meditation to understand His work and His own heart. And often He stole away from the crowd, from the blinding pressure of constant activity, to gather light and balance in prayer (Mark 1:35; Mark 6:46, Luke 6:12, John 8:1). Hence the crown which rests on His activities. He never turned aside from His path. One purpose shapes every word and act from the beginning. Will sits untroubled on its throne, whatever dissonances of earth be round Him, though world and friend and foe conspire to turn Him aside. And peace rests upon all He does. There was no hurry in His hands, no hurry in His feet. His life was full, crowded with incident; but it flowed on quiet, unchanging, harmonious as a poet’s dream. The mountain with its peace and quietness, its hours of prayer and still thought, was His place of transfiguration. There He looked into the Father’s purpose, till the glory that lay beyond and the love that shone through it kindled their reflexion on His face, till He saw His way so clearly that He could never miss it, never be in any hesitation about it,—the way, amid the conflicting passions of men, to His throne on Calvary.
(c) There remains another great class, the men of passion. Among them have been some of the greatest and sweetest of the children of men—gentle souls with the grace of sympathy and self-forgetfulness; generous and magnanimous souls like David, whose inspirations have been to men an abiding memorial of the beauty of chivalry; heroes of faith like Paul and Luther, who change the current of human life. Jesus is the Lord of all such. Men of thought or action grow great oftentimes at the expense of their heart; but in Jesus the heart has equal sway with the mind or the will. He was full of sympathy. The sick and the sorrowful never appealed to Him in vain; His hand was laid gently and lovingly on the loathsome body of the leper; the sinful and outcast knew there was understanding and gentle judgment with Him. And His miracles of healing were never demonstrations, seals of His Messiahship; personal sympathy was their source and regulator. But Jesus does not throw the reins to sympathy. ‘His sanity of judgment is as extraordinary as His depth of sympathy’ (Peabody, Jesus Christ and the Social Question, p. 85). He could not look on the adulterous woman brought to Him for judgment—He felt for her so; but though He would not condemn, neither did He excuse; He said, ‘Go, and sin no more’ (John 8:2-11). His gospel was that there is infinite patience and forgiveness with God; and yet there are no sterner words in the NT than His. He who told the parable of the Prodigal Son told also the parables of the Ten Virgins, the Man without the Wedding Garment, and the Talents. And the woman who bathed His feet in Simon’s house, and Zacchaeus who lodged Him for the night, and Peter who listened to Him in the boat, all bear witness how, in His gracious presence, the sincere soul felt the evil of sin and the inflexible order of righteousness as it had never felt them before.
3. The law of His life, its ultimate value.—It is objected that an essential imperfection cleaves to the individual, however balanced the elements of humanity in him may be. He belongs to one age and people; and the ideal of his day, which is only in a state of becoming, and is surely passing away into some higher, fuller ideal, as the thought and experience of the race widen, inevitably bounds his spirit. Growth is the mark of all things human. The ideal of the good man grows; it draws to itself elements from different nations and different times; it passes through subtle changes and permutations. God speaks to men at sundry times and in divers manners; and not only great men, but nations, are His prophets to the spirit of the wide world which is travailing with the perfect ideal of man. So the individual can never have permanent or universal value. As the Abbé Galieni says, ‘One century may judge another century, but only his own century may judge the individual.’ That may be true of the ordinary man, or even of national heroes and saints, whose character ever seems strange and partially distasteful or even unintelligible to men of other races and times; it is conspicuously untrue of Jesus. He stands not at the bar of His century. He judges it and all times: He judges His own people and all peoples. He took their highest ideas of God and of moral duty and purified these, making them the light of to-day. Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, became the Father in heaven whose name is Love; and the chosen people of God, all the immortal spirits God has made in His own image. And that idea wrought itself out perfectly in His teaching and conduct. It is in particulars that the prophet’s insight is tested. Jesus identified the will of God with the good of men; and He found that good in the universal elements of human life. He emptied religion of all national and accidental elements. He passed by all customs and observances that were of His day and race; He removed all barriers and limits which men put to human brotherhood. And so, though born among the most exclusive of nations, a son of Abraham after the flesh, He is no Jew: He is the first Citizen of the world; in Paul’s revealing phrase, ‘the last Adam.’
Nor is the ideal of Jesus subject to time. There is progress in all things, but not in the same way. Knowledge moves from point to point. In mathematics and in all the mechanical sciences we pass with sure foot from one thing gained to another. But as we enter the region of personality, all that is changed. The art of to-day, whether in literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, is not necessarily better than the art of even a distant yesterday. There are creative times in the world’s history when a great idea is expressed, and it becomes the task of centuries to understand and assimilate it. Jesus is the Creator of a new spiritual era. His work was to found a Kingdom, spiritual in nature, world-wide in extent. That Kingdom is based on what is ultimate in our nature—the Fatherhood of God, whose name is Love, and the brotherhood of men. Such a Kingdom is the finer breath and inspiration, the inner meaning and end, of all the imperfect, transient societies of earth. And such alone will satisfy the individual; for the end of personality is love. The ideal of Jesus may gather content in and through all the experiences and relations and offices of those who live in this Kingdom. His spirit will bear fruit within the Kingdom beyond what it could bear during the days He lived on earth, revealing its infinite riches. But never will the mind of the world pass beyond the bounds of that ideal, or draw light from any further source.
Jesus is the Lord of the new society, not only because He enunciated with perfect clearness its ultimate law, but because He Himself followed this law unerringly in His own life ‘without being let or hindered, as we are, by the motions of private passion and by self-will’ (M. Arnold, St. Paul, p. 45). The absoluteness of this obedience is attested by the trials to which it was put. The perfectly good man must not merely show flawless, joyful obedience; he must be sifted as wheat; he must meet trial and temptation in their extremest rigour and subtlest form. Only so can the supremacy of goodness in him be affirmed. Jesus was thus tried. And the trial served only to make clear the perfect identification of His mind with the heart and will of the Father. (For the possibility of the temptation of a sinless Being, see art. Temptation).
(1) Filial relation to God.—In the wilderness Jesus met the trials of the future. He had there to come to an understanding with Himself, to know precisely what His mission was and what were the means of its accomplishment. One suggestion was to turn stones into bread. The loving soul will be tempted from the side of pity. To the heart of Jesus His countrymen’s need of bread and of help to a better social state would always be present. But He turned aside to His task, which was to feed them with the words that proceed out of the mouth of God.
Renunciations are the lowly gateways on the narrow road of obedience. They are a measure of a man’s moral sagacity, his clearness of vision both of his duty and of the means of realizing it, his simplicity of spirit and freedom from vanity or self-will. Men are readily drawn aside, the lower sort by suggestions of vanity and self-importance, the higher by the vision of some good more quickly realized. The world of political and industrial and social problems is a lower world than that in which Jesus wrought. It is a realm of expediency; its conditions change from age to age. The leaders there are men of affairs, men of practical wisdom, taught to discern what is immediately possible. The world will never lack such guides, for riches and honour and power gather quickly to them. Jesus kept aloof from such questions. He walked a more self-denying road, though one more fruitful of good to the world. He was not sent save as the physician of sick souls and the shepherd of lost ones. It was His to found a Kingdom not of this world, the Kingdom of God: and to provide, by His teaching and by the manifestation of His own loving heart in suffering and in death, what would quicken faith, and hope, and love in men throughout all lands and all times.
The Messianic idea was another great temptation. Evil is here entwined in all things; temptation lurks within a man’s purest and highest aspirations. Men must always work with the instruments at their hand. Jesus came with the consciousness of being ‘God’s final messenger, after whom none higher can come’ (Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity, English translation i. 45). He had to appeal to the popular expectation, their hopes of the Messiah soiled by ignoble thought. The popular thought is ever on a lower plane than the Divine, and becomes a difficulty and a temptation to the servants of God. When Jesus saw Himself as the long-looked-for Messiah, all the worldly hopes that clung to the office in the thoughts of Rabbi or people flowed in upon Him. There were the expectation of political glory, and the worship of force, in the popular mind. There was the Rabbinic expectation of a kingdom of right obedience set up miraculously by God through the sudden appearance of the Messiah—a more refined, seemingly pious expectation, full of trust in God only and of zeal for His glory. These were the thoughts and hopes which rose up at the claim of Messiah. In the wilderness Jesus had to face them: He had to come to a clear understanding of the nature of the Messianic Kingdom and of the means He had to use to establish it. There everything material and external fell from His idea of it. The earthly kingdom became spiritual; the glory of Israel became universal; the way of its establishment was to be through an appeal to the honest heart’s faith in God as the highest good and the convincing vision of goodness; and for Himself not any success and glory, but suffering, and shame, and death. These elements of His purification of the Messianic idea only emerged gradually in His teaching, but they were present to His consciousness at the beginning, when He determined to worship God only, and to serve Him in simple obedience to His highest thought, making no compromise with the Prince of this world (Matthew 4:10).
Jesus had to meet again in the world all those temptations which He had vanquished in His thought. The people desired to make Him king (John 6:15). He made it the occasion of showing clearly the spiritual nature of His mission, and reaped for His faithfulness their disbelief. The temptation came closer. Peter, in love, took Him aside and rebuked Him when He sought to prepare the disciples’ hearts for the shame and death before Him. Peter was the mouth-piece of the Prince of this world, pointing out the lower way (Matthew 16:21-23). From the lips of mother and brethren the same temptation came. His mother whispered, ‘They have no wine’ (John 2:3); His brethren said, ‘Go into Judaea (where the great and powerful are), that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest’ (John 7:3-4). Temptation thus entrenched itself against Him among the sanctities of the heart. Jesus, as in the wilderness, triumphed by simple obedience. He put the temptation aside with the words, ‘Mine hour is not yet come’ (John 2:24). He had no ear for any of the suggestions of policy or worldly prudence, whose hour is alway ready; He was a man under authority, waiting for the call of the Father; and clear and sweet above the discordant voices of the world that call ever came, and He followed it to Calvary. There His obedience was perfected (John 14:31).
(2) Brotherly relation to men.—There were no limits to Jesus sympathy and love for men. (a) The religious prejudices of His day did not impair His brotherhood with the sinful and the outcast. He discerned clearly their worth. That is a witness to His brotherhood. For interest and affection are the lights which illumine the personality of others; only by them can we read their hidden worth, especially when obscured by the dominant thought and prejudices of the day. Jesus discerned the spiritual soundness which might underlie sins of passion, the capacity of generosity with its healing power, the quick and deep response to a gospel of forgiveness in the humility of self-accusing hearts, the sacred soil where love grows (Luke 7:47; Luke 18:13, Matthew 21:28-32). And He drew nigh unto men in brotherly love as the physician of sick souls, the faithful shepherd seeking the lost sheep of God, though thereby He outraged the sentiments of the Pharisees (Matthew 9:11; Matthew 11:19, Luke 15:2; Luke 19:7), though His friendship with them was helping to raise the eross on which He was slain. The simplicity of Jesus’ feeling of brotherhood for them is witnessed by the fact that they drew near to Him gladly (Luke 15:1, Matthew 9:10).
(b) ‘No single social typo monopolized the sympathy or acceptance of Jesus’ (Peabody, op. cit. p. 204). The zealot and the publican met in the inner circle of His disciples: Mary of Magdala, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward, united to minister to Him of their substance. He was equally at home in Simon the Pharisee’s house and at the table of Levi or Zacchaeus, with their different clientèle; in private talk with Nicodemus, a master in Israel, and at the wayside well with the woman of Samaria. His help in sickness was for rich and poor, in all circumstances and conditions—the solitary leper, and the mourning widow in the streets of Nain; the paralytic of thirty-eight years, friendless and helpless, and the bond-servant of the household of the Roman centurion, whose name was held in honour throughout all Capernaum; the daughter of Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, and the daughter of a nameless Gentile woman of Syro-Phœnicia. And His brotherhood went beyond the bounds of nations. He made the Samaritan the hero of His story of neighbourliness; He praised the faith of the Roman centurion; He pointed to God’s care of Naaman the Syrian captain, and the widow of Zarephath. Jesus might not formulate in express terms the doctrine of the brotherhood of man. That was not His way. He dealt not in notions or abstractions. He rather inspired a spirit which sooner or later would burst all the swaddling-bands that confined humanity, and which expressed itself in the words of him who understood best the spirit of the Master, ‘Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Seythian, bond nor free’ (Colossians 3:11). Illumination rises from the heart.
(c) In Him love won also its ultimate triumph, viz. over wrong and hate. ‘I say unto you, Love your enemies,’ etc. (Matthew 5:44). That is an ideal which thought may win; but it has been fully realized only in Him who suffered the contradiction of sinners with unfailing patience and serenity of heart, and who prayed on the cross for those who placed Him there, and who reviled Him in His agony, ‘Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34).
Jesus’ filial relation of love and obedience to the Father and His brotherhood to man reach their absolute expression on Calvary. That death was no accident, provoked by the invectives against the Pharisees; it was seen afar off as the end of His mission. It looks through the sad irony of His answer to the Pharisees when they complained of the religious light-heartedness of His followers and He said, ‘The days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days’ (Mark 2:20). And as soon as the disciples had come to clear faith in Him as the Messiah, He began to prepare them for disappointment and tribulation and His death. This was the inevitable end of the method He had chosen in the wilderness, when He renounced all powers of persuasion but that of an appeal to the heart. The Kingdom of loving and obedient souls could be established only on the perfect sacrifice of love and obedience, and Jesus gave Himself absolutely in response to that vision of faith. In this sacrifice the law of His life, ultimate law for man, declares its victory.
4. As a result of His perfect love and obedience the character of Jesus shows certain notes of perfection, qualities in which He is unique and unapproachable among men. (1) There was in Him the union of the loftiest self-consciousness and the utmost sobriety of mind and lowliness of heart. ‘I am the light of the world’ (John 8:12); ‘No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal him’ (Matthew 11:27). A self-consciousness more than human is in these words. And this self-consciousness dominates all His work. He brushes aside the teachings of the scribes and the traditions of their schools; He speaks to the people as one having authority, who is greater than Jonah or Solomon (Matthew 12:41-42), who stands above all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17-18; Matthew 21:34-37). He made also the most tremendous claims on men. He bade the rich man sell all and follow Him; His disciples were to hate wife and family for His sake. The experience of failure and the approach of the Cross availed nothing to abate these claims. At the visit of the Greeks He said that, were He lifted up, He would draw all men to Him (John 12:32); He told the high priest that He was the Son of God, and that he would see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven (Mark 14:62). And yet Jesus ever showed the utmost sobriety and lowly-mindedness. He always prayed humbly and submissively to God the Father. The Son did nothing but what He learned from the Father (John 5:19). And in the wilderness He recognized that He was to tread life’s common way. Savonarola and St. Francis might offer to pass through the fire, but Jesus expected no guarding or attesting miracle. He must not cast Himself from the Temple. He must accept all the ordinary conditions of life in His work. And He accepted them. Meekly He went down the darkening ways, accepting failure and disappointment and hatred and shame as the portion appointed by the Father; and there is no sign of any inward rebellion or amazement. He walked humbly before God.
He was with men also in lowliness and meekness. When the Samaritan villagers would not receive Him, He restrained His disciples’ indignation and went to another village (Luke 9:52-56); He took a place in the lower seats in the Pharisee’s house (Luke 14:7-11); He was infinitely approachable by all the outcast and needy. Though He proclaimed, when need was, His greatness as the Son of God, yet He turned aside from personal questions as to whether He was the Messiah. His aim was to create in men’s hearts faith in God as their Father, and He was content to let that faith come to its own appreciation of Him and His claims. The man who would not follow Him, but yet wrought cures in His name, was not to be rebuked (Mark 9:38-42) and any blasphemy against Him personally would be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32). His greatness among men was the greatness of service. This union of lowly-mindedness and loftiest self-consciousness is reflected, as in a mirror, in His parable of the Last Judgment. He sees Himself attended by all the holy angels, and seated on the throne of glory to judge men. But there His royal robe is the self-forgetting humility of love. For there no wrongs done to Himself are thought of, no disbelief in His claims, no offence against His majesty: it is the helpless and the suffering forgotten by their brethren who fill His mind. His glory vanishes within the light of love.
(2) Jesus faced the sorrow and sin of the world, and yielded nothing of His faith and joy. It has been said that He was a man of melancholy, one who never laughed, one marked and scored by the world’s evil, grown old before His time. That is an a priori interpretation of His character. In the Gospels it is the note of joy that strikes us. Jesus Himself says to the complaining Pharisees, ‘Can the children of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them?’ The joy of the bridegroom was in His heart. His life then was empty of all the things in whose abundance the world thinks that man’s life consists. But the sources of happiness are all within. And Jesus’ joy reveals His victory over the tyranny of things. He was rich inwardly. That arose from His cheerful faith ‘that all which we behold is full of blessings.’ This world, to His vision, was God’s world. It is He who clothes the lily with beauty, and feeds the ravens, and knows when a sparrow falls to the ground, and numbers the hairs of His children’s heads. And He had faith in man. He saw in the Temple’s outcast children marks of good. They could love much: the authentic Divine seal was still on their hearts. Such an outlook brings riches of interest and joy to the whole nature.
But how did that faith and that joy fare in their encounter with the world’s sin and sorrow? It was tried to the uttermost. Jesus met with all the sorrows of life in others’ experience, which His sympathy made real to Him, if not in His own. He met the world’s sin; He had to endure the disbelief of His brethren and the forsaking of His followers; He was led to see the very throne of Satan in the hypocrisy of religious men, and in the cruelty and inhuman pride of earth’s saints. But that did not touch the inward joy and peace of His faith. As He went up to Jerusalem, where alone the blood of the prophets was shed, there was a glory in His face which held His followers awed and silent (Mark 10:32-34). It was the inward rapture of a heart that saw, beyond the darkness, light; beyond the hatreds and crimes of men, the love of the Father turning sin to blessed account. It is true that Jesus’ latest words are words of judgment. That could not but be; for the days of Judah’s visitation were hurrying by, and the truth which the hour revealed must be spoken. The shadow of Israel’s rejection is over them. But peace, ‘subsisting at the heart of endless agitation,’ was His. It is present everywhere in His last discourse in the Upper Room (John 13:31 to John 17:26). A sober colouring as of even is there; but it speaks quiet assurance of victory. ‘Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.’ That is its note. Peace breathes through it, peace ‘whose other names are rapture, power, clear sight, and love.’ Only twice during that night was this peace greatly disturbed: in Gethsemane when He prayed, ‘Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me’ (Matthew 26:39); and on the cross when the cry burst from Him, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:46). These are mysteries where we pass beyond mere moral questions into the theology of the sin-bearing. Could such an unique spirit pass through such an experience without striking notes too profound and strange for our conceiving? But only for a brief space rested His soul within the shadow. There was peace in His heart after Gethsemane, when Judas came, and when He stood before Caiaphas and Pilate, which made Him the Lord of all that evil night. And there was peace on the cross, that throne of love and obedience; peace before the darkness, when sympathy for others filled His heart, and He prayed for those who slew Him knowing not what they did, and comforted the repentant thief, and gave His mother into His loved disciple’s care; peace after the darkness, when He surveyed His work, and seeing it finished thus in sacrificial death, commended His soul to the Father, whose will He was obeying. There is the perfection of Jesus’ victory over the world. He yielded no hostages of joy or faith. He confronted the world’s sin, the very darkness of evil where God seemed not to be, and He remained with inward glory crowned, His soul full of the joy and peace of the vision that He and all His lay in the bosom of the Father.
Literature.—The Lives of Christ; Young, The Christ of History; Ullmann, The Sinlessness of Jesus; Channing’s Works, vol. ii.; Bushnell, On the Character of Jesus; Lacordaire, Jesus Christ; F. W. Newman, Phases of Faith, with Martineau’s reviews thereof, in Essays, vol. iii.; Martineau, Seat of Authority in Religion, bk. v.; Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity, vol. i.; J. Scott Lidgett, The Spiritual Principle of the Atonement, ch. vi.; Peabody, Jesus Christ and the Christian Character; Forrest, The Authority of Christ; Weinel, Jesus im neunzehnten Jahrhundert.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Perfection (of Jesus)'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/p/perfection-of-jesus.html. 1906-1918.
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10