The teachings of Jesus, as presented in the Bible, are familiar to millions, yet there is still much dispute about just what they are and what they mean. Keith Ward argues that, by scrutinizing Jesus' recorded words in the light of modern biblical scholarship and through the lens of contemporary philosophy, we can discover a profound and beautiful set of teachings that has often not been fully appreciated. Ward uncovers four central themes: that Jesus taught a gospel of conditional salvation for all, not a message of condemnation for all but a small elect; that Jesus' apokalyptic language was symbolic, not literal, revealing spiritual truths about the "new creation" over which he will rule; that Jesus presented a distinctive and inspiring moral idea for how we should seek to live, through spiritual practice and discipline of the soul; that Jesus' life foreshadowed the ultimate union of humanity and all creation with God.

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