Jesus as a Violent Zealot

Bible & Interpretation has published my essay on “Jesus as Whippersnapper: John 2:15 and Prophetic Violence.”
This essay challenges a pacifistic interpretation of John 2:15. In particular, it addresses the linguistic, historical and literary arguments of N. Clayton Croy, who argued that Jesus should not be portrayed as committing any act of violence in John 2:15. More recently, Andy Alexis-Baker concludes that Jesus did not even strike any animals with a whip, which was made of materials too soft to injure anyone or any animal. A violent portrait of Jesus is consistent with the Deuteronomistic view of divine anger and prophetic zeal that may have influenced the portrait the Johannine Jesus. Otherwise, the temple episode in John exemplifies another case where some streams of Christian scholarship seem reluctant to characterize Jesus’ behavior as unjustifiably violent or characterize it as an example of social justice.