Throughout the commentary (and I have never noticed this before in his other writing; he must not refer much to Jesus by name), he insists on making the possessive of "Jesus" to be "Jesus's." How can this be? By tradition and rule, the possessive of "Jesus" sounds exactly the same as "Jesus" and appears in print as "Jesus'." On this I thought there was very little dispute; on this I think there should be very little dispute. The Chicago Manual of Style, my arbiter of grammatical and typographical orthodoxy, makes it very clear that while the possessive of other names and objects ending in "s" is formed with "
Now, I violate CMS by making all possessives of words ending in either one or two "s"es with a lone apostroph. (Because I cite it doesn't mean that I follow it rigorously.) But when I stray, I know that I'm doing so -- and usually, I think I serve the value of euphony when I do. I have a problem enunciating sibilants without hissing: It's much easier for me to say and for my auditors to listen to me when I forego additional "s"es as much as possible. But in the case of Jesus and Moses, it is simply wrong not to follow tradition and CMS. When Hauerwas speaks of the temptations of Jesus (notice the circumlocution by which the problem can be avoided), he makes the name of Jesus sound like the hissing of the very serpent with which the devil is identified in Genesis in the original temptation. That seems wrong on so many grounds.
So I say to any of you who (oh, oh: I've fallen into the trap Jenson so hates: the you-hoo construction) preach or teach: Please mend your ways if you follow Hauerwas on this.