Historical Jesus

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In the 21st century, the third quest for the historical Jesus witnessed a fragmentation of the scholarly portraits of Jesus after which no unified picture of Jesus could be attained at all.[1][2]

Historical Jesus refers to attempts to "reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by critical historical methods," in "contrast to Christological definitions ('the dogmatic Christ') and other Christian accounts of Jesus (‘the Christ of faith’)".[3] It also considers the historical and cultural context in which Jesus lived.[4][5][6]

Most scholars who write on the subject accept that Jesus existed,[7][8][9][10] although scholars differ about the beliefs and teachings of Jesus as well as the accuracy of the accounts of his life, and the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.[11][12][13][14]

Since the 18th century, three separate scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and developing new and different research criteria.[15][16] The portraits of Jesus that have been constructed in these processes have often differed from each other, and from the dogmatic image portrayed in the gospel accounts.[1] These portraits include that of Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet, charismatic healer, Cynic philosopher, Jewish Messiah and prophet of social change,[17][18] but there is little scholarly agreement on a single portrait, or the methods needed to construct it.[1][2][19] There are, however, overlapping attributes among the various portraits, and scholars who differ on some attributes may agree on others.[17][18][20]

A number of scholars have criticized the various approaches used in the study of the historical Jesus—on one hand for the lack of rigor in research methods, on the other for being driven by "specific agendas" that interpret ancient sources to fit specific goals.[21][22][23] By the 21st century the "maximalist" approaches of the 19th century which accepted all the gospels and the "minimalist" trends of the early 20th century which totally rejected them were abandoned and scholars began to focus on what is historically probable and plausible about Jesus. [24][25][26]

Historical elements[edit]

Existence[edit]

Most contemporary scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and most biblical scholars and classical historians see the theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[7][9][10][27][28][29] We have no indication that writers in antiquity who opposed Christianity questioned the existence of Jesus.[30][31] There is, however, widespread disagreement among scholars on the details of the life of Jesus mentioned in the gospel narratives, and on the meaning of his teachings.[14] Scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts of Jesus,[14] and historians tend to look upon supernatural or miraculous claims about Jesus as questions of faith, rather than historical fact.[32]

Evidence of Jesus[edit]

There is no physical or archeological evidence for Jesus, and all the sources we have are documentary. The sources for the historical Jesus are mainly Christian writings, such as the gospels and the purported letters of the apostles. The authenticity and reliability of these sources has been questioned by many scholars, and few events mentioned in the gospels are universally accepted.[33]

In conjunction with Biblical sources, three mentions of Jesus in non-Christian sources have been used in the historical analyses of the existence of Jesus.[34] These are two passages in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and one from the Roman historian Tacitus.[34][35]

Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20. The general scholarly view is that while the longer passage, known as the Testimonium Flavianum, is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian interpolation or forgery.[36][37] Of the other mention in Josephus, Josephus scholar Louis H. Feldman has stated that "few have doubted the genuineness" of Josephus' reference to Jesus in Antiquities 20, 9, 1 and it is only disputed by a small number of scholars.[38][39][40][41]

Roman historian Tacitus referred to Christus and his execution by Pontius Pilate in his Annals (written ca. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44.[42] Robert E. Van Voorst states that the very negative tone of Tacitus' comments on Christians make the passage extremely unlikely to have been forged by a Christian scribe[43] and Boyd and Eddy state that the Tacitus reference is now widely accepted as an independent confirmation of Christ's crucifixion,[44] although some scholars question the authenticity of the passage on various different grounds.[43][45][46][47][48][49][49][50][51]

Myth theory[edit]

Main article: Christ myth theory

The Christ myth theory is the proposition that Jesus of Nazareth never existed, or if he did, he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity and the accounts in the gospels.[52] Many proponents use a three-fold argument first developed in the 19th century that the New Testament has no historical value, there are no non-Christian references to Jesus Christ from the first century, and that Christianity had pagan and/or mythical roots.[53]

In recent years, there have been a number of books and documentaries on this subject. Some "mythicists" concede the possibility that Jesus may have been a real person, but that the biblical accounts of him are almost entirely fictional.[54][55][56] Others believe in a spiritual Christ, but that he never lived.[57]

Two widely accepted historical facts[edit]

The historical analysis techniques used by Biblical scholars have been questioned,[21][22][23] and according to James Dunn it is not possible "to construct (from the available data) a Jesus who will be the real Jesus."[58][59][60]

W.R. Herzog has stated that "What we call the historical Jesus is the composite of the recoverable bits and pieces of historical information and speculation about him that we assemble, construct, and reconstruct. For this reason, the historical Jesus is, in Meier's words, 'a modern abstraction and construct.'"[61]

Nonetheless, despite divergent scholarly opinions on the construction of portraits of the historical Jesus, almost all modern scholars consider his baptism and crucifixion to be historical facts.[11][62]

John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that based on the criterion of embarrassment Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.[63] Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation (i.e. confirmation by more than one source), the criterion of coherence (i.e. that it fits with other historical elements) and the criterion of rejection (i.e. that it is not disputed by ancient sources) help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event.[64] Eddy and Boyd state that it is now firmly established that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus – referring to the mentions in Josephus and Tacitus.[44]

Most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable,[13][63][65][66] as do Bart Ehrman,[66] former priest John Dominic Crossan[13] and theologian James Dunn.[11] Although scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it, e.g. both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion, but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion, and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a Christian story.[67] Geza Vermes also views the crucifixion as a historical event but believes this was due to Jesus’ challenging of Roman authority.[67]

The existence of John the Baptist within the same time frame as Jesus, and his eventual execution by Herod Antipas is attested to by 1st-century historian Josephus and the overwhelming majority of modern scholars view Josephus' accounts of the activities of John the Baptist as authentic.[68][69] One of the arguments in favor of the historicity of the Baptism of Jesus by John is the criterion of embarrassment, i.e. that it is a story which the early Christian Church would have never wanted to invent.[70][71][72] Another argument used in favour of the historicity of the baptism is that multiple accounts refer to it, usually called the criterion of multiple attestation.[73] Technically, multiple attestation does not guarantee authenticity, but only determines antiquity.[74] However, for most scholars, together with the criterion of embarrassment it lends credibility to the baptism of Jesus by John being a historical event.[73][75][76][77]

Other possibly historical elements[edit]

In addition to the two historical elements of baptism and crucifixion, scholars attribute varying levels of certainty to various other aspects of the life of Jesus, although there is no universal agreement among scholars on these items.[78] Amy-Jill Levine has stated that "there is a consensus of sorts on the basic outline of Jesus' life. Most scholars agree that Jesus was baptised by John, debated with fellow Jews on how best to live according to God’s will, engaged in healings and exorcisms, taught in parables, gathered male and female followers in Galilee, went to Jerusalem, and was crucified by Roman soldiers during the governorship of Pontius Pilate (26-36 CE.) But, to use the old cliché, the devil is in the details."[79]

In addition various scholars have proposed that:

Portraits of the historical Jesus[edit]

Since the 18th century, three separate scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and developing new and different research criteria.[15][16] The portraits of Jesus that have been constructed in these processes have often differed from each other, and from the dogmatic image portrayed in the gospel accounts.[1] These portraits include that of Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet, charismatic healer, Cynic philosopher, Jewish Messiah and prophet of social change,[17][18] but there is little scholarly agreement on a single portrait, or the methods needed to construct it.[1][2][19] There are, however, overlapping attributes among the various portraits, and scholars who differ on some attributes may agree on others.[17][18][20]

Methods of research[edit]

In the early church, there were already tendencies to portray Jesus as a verifiable demonstration of the extraordinary.[107][108] Since the 18th century, scholars have taken part in three separate "quests" for the historical Jesus, attempting to reconstruct various portraits of his life using historical methods.[15][109] While textual criticism (or lower criticism) had been practiced for centuries, a number of approaches to historical analysis and a number of criteria for evaluating the historicity of events emerged as of the 18th century, as a series of "Quests for the historical Jesus" took place. At each stage of development, scholars suggested specific forms and methodologies of analysis and specific criteria to be used to determine historical validity.[110]

The first Quest, which started in 1778, was almost entirely based on biblical criticism. This was supplemented with form criticism in 1919 and redaction criticism in 1948.[110] Form criticism began as an attempt to trace the history of the biblical material before it was written down, and may thus be seen as starting when textual criticism ends.[111] Form criticism looks for patterns within units of biblical text and attempts to trace their origin based on the patterns.[111] Redaction criticism may be viewed as the child of text criticism and form criticism.[112] This approach views an author as a "redactor" i.e. someone preparing a report, and tries to understand how the redactor(s) has molded the narrative to express their own perspectives.[112]

At the end of the first Quest (c. 1906) the criterion for multiple attestation was used and was the major additional element up to 1950s.[110] The concept behind multiple attestation is simple: as the number of independent sources that vouch for an event increases, confidence in the historical authenticity of the event rises.[110]

Other criteria were being developed at the same time, e.g. "double dissimilarity" in 1913, "least distinctiveness" in 1919 and "coherence and consistency" in 1921.[110] The criterion of double dissimilarity views a reported saying or action of Jesus as possibly authentic, if it is dissimilar from both the Judaism of his time and also from the traditions of the early Christianity that immediately followed him.[113] The least distinctiveness criterion relies on the assumption that when stories are passed from person to person, the peripheral, least distinct elements may be distorted, but the central element remains unchanged.[114] The criterion of "coherence and consistency" states that material can be used only when other material has been identified as authentic to corroborate it.[110]

The second Quest was launched in 1953, and along with it the criterion of embarrassment was introduced.[110] This criterion states that a group is unlikely to invent a story that would be embarrassing to themselves.[110] The criterion of "historical plausibility" was introduced in 1997, after the start of the third Quest in 1988.[110] This principle analyzes the plausibility of an event in two separate components: contextual plausibility and consequential plausibility, i.e. the historical context needs to be suitable, as well as the consequences.[110]

A new characteristic of the modern aspects of the third quest has been the role of archaeology and James Charlesworth states that few modern scholars now want to overlook the archaeological discoveries that clarify the nature of life in Galilee and Judea during the time of Jesus.[115] A further characteristic of the third quest has been its interdisciplinary and global nature of the scholarship.[116] While the first two quests was mostly by European Protestant theologians, the third quest has seen a worldwide influx of scholars from multiple disciplines.[116]

More recently historicists have focussed their attention on the historical writings associated with the period in which Jesus lived[117][118] or on the evidence concerning his family.[119][120][121] The redaction of these documents through early Christian sources till the 3rd or 4th centuries has also been a rich source of new information.

Criticism of Jesus research methods[edit]

A number of scholars have criticised Historical Jesus research for religious bias and lack of methodological soundness, and some have argued that modern biblical scholarship is insufficiently critical and sometimes amounts to covert apologetics.[122][123]

Theological bias[edit]

John Meier, a Catholic priest and a professor of theology at University of Notre Dame, has stated "... I think a lot of the confusion comes from the fact that people claim they are doing a quest for the historical Jesus when de facto they’re doing theology, albeit a theology that is indeed historically informed ..."[124] Meier also wrote that in the past the quest for the historical Jesus has often been motivated more by a desire to produce an alternate Christology than a true historical search.[22]

The British Methodist scholar Clive Marsh[125] has stated that the construction of the portraits of Jesus as part of various quests have often been driven by "specific agendas" and that historical components of the relevant biblical texts are often interpreted to fit specific goals.[23] Marsh lists theological agendas that aim to confirm the divinity of Jesus, anti-ecclesiastical agendas that aim to discredit Christianity and political agendas that aim to interpret the teachings of Jesus with the hope of causing social change.[23][126]

The New Testament scholar Nicholas Perrin has argued that since most biblical scholars are Christians, a certain bias is inevitable, but he does not see this as a major problem.[127][128]

Lack of methodological soundness[edit]

Donald Akenson, Professor of Irish Studies in the department of history at Queen's University has argued that, with very few exceptions, the historians attempting to reconstruct a biography of the man apart from the mere facts of his existence and crucifixion have not followed sound historical practices. He has stated that there is an unhealthy reliance on consensus, for propositions, which should otherwise be based on primary sources, or rigorous interpretation. He also identifies a peculiar downward dating creep, and holds that some of the criteria being used are faulty. He says that the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars are employed in institutions whose roots are in religious beliefs. Because of this, more than any other group in present day academia, biblical historians are under immense pressure to theologize their historical work. It is only through considerable individual heroism, that many biblical historians have managed to maintain the scholarly integrity of their work.[129][130]

Dale Allison, a Presbyterian theologian and professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, says, "... We wield our criteria to get what we want ..."[21]

According to James Dunn, "...the 'historical Jesus' is properly speaking a nineteenth- and twentieth-century construction using the data provided by the Synoptic tradition, not Jesus back then and not a figure in history."[131] (Emphasis in the original). Dunn further explains that "the facts are not to be identified as data; they are always an interpretation of the data.[132]

Since Albert Schweitzer's book The Quest of the Historical Jesus, scholars have for long stated that many of the portraits of Jesus are "pale reflections of the researchers" themselves.[17][133][134] Albert Schweitzer accused early scholars of religious bias. John Dominic Crossan summarized the recent situation by stating that many authors writing about the life of Jesus "... do autobiography and call it biography."[17][135]

Scarcity of sources[edit]

Bart Ehrman and separately Andreas Köstenberger contend that given the scarcity of historical sources, it is generally difficult for any scholar to construct a portrait of Jesus that can be considered historically valid beyond the basic elements of his life.[136][137] On the other hand, scholars such as N. T. Wright and Luke Timothy Johnson argue that the image of Jesus presented in the gospels is largely accurate, and that dissenting scholars are simply too cautious about what we can claim to know about the ancient period.[138]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria by Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter (Aug 30, 2002) ISBN 0664225373 page 5
  2. ^ a b c Jesus Research: An International Perspective (Princeton-Prague Symposia Series on the Historical Jesus) by James H. Charlesworth and Petr Pokorny (Sep 15, 2009) ISBN 0802863531 pages 1-2
  3. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by Frank Leslie Cross, Elizabeth A. Livingstone, pg 779, at http://books.google.co.za/books?id=fUqcAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA779&dq=Historical+Jesus,+Quest+of+the.%22+Oxford+Dictionary+of+the+Christian+Church&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZPszVN7tN4XEPbyzgMAO&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Historical%20Jesus%2C%20Quest%20of%20the.%22%20Oxford%20Dictionary%20of%20the%20Christian%20Church&f=false
  4. ^ Amy-Jill Levine in the The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. 2006 Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 1-2
  5. ^ Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman (Sep 23, 1999) ISBN 0195124731 Oxford Univ Press pages ix-xi
  6. ^ Ehrman, Bart. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-19-515462-2, chapters 13, 15
  7. ^ a b In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (a secular agnostic) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
  8. ^ Robert M. Price (an atheist who denies the existence of Jesus) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61
  9. ^ a b Michael Grant (a classicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Michael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
  10. ^ a b Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that anymore." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
  11. ^ a b c Jesus Remembered by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 339 states of baptism and crucifixion that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command almost universal assent".
  12. ^ a b Prophet and Teacher: An Introduction to the Historical Jesus by William R. Herzog (4 Jul 2005) ISBN 0664225284 pages 1-6
  13. ^ a b c Crossan, John Dominic (1995). Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. HarperOne. p. 145. ISBN 0-06-061662-8. "That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus ... agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact." 
  14. ^ a b c Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0-664-25703-8 pages 168–173
  15. ^ a b c The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth by Ben Witherington (May 8, 1997) ISBN 0830815449 pages 9-13
  16. ^ a b Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (1 Jan 1999) ISBN 0664257038 pages 19-23
  17. ^ a b c d e f The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 124-125
  18. ^ a b c d The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 1 by Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (Feb 20, 2006) ISBN 0521812399 page 23
  19. ^ a b Images of Christ (Academic Paperback) by Stanley E. Porter, Michael A. Hayes and David Tombs (Dec 19, 2004) ISBN 0567044602 T&T Clark page 74
  20. ^ a b Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth by Michael James McClymond (Mar 22, 2004) ISBN 0802826806 pages 16-22
  21. ^ a b c Allison, Dale (February 2009). The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-8028-6262-4. Retrieved Jan 9, 2011. "We wield our criteria to get what we want." 
  22. ^ a b c John P. Meier (26 May 2009). A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Law and Love. Yale University Press. pp. 6–. ISBN 978-0-300-14096-5. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  23. ^ a b c d Clive Marsh, "Diverse Agendas at Work in the Jesus Quest" in Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus by Tom Holmen and Stanley E. Porter (Jan 12, 2011) ISBN 9004163727 pages 986-1002
  24. ^ John P. Meier "Criteria: How do we decide what comes from Jesus?" in The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight (Jul 15, 2006) ISBN 1575061007 page 124 "Since in the quest for the historical Jesus almost anything is possible, the function of the criteria is to pass from the merely possible to the really probable, to inspect various probabilities, and to decide which candidate is most probable. Ordinarily the criteria can not hope to do more."
  25. ^ The Historical Jesus of the Gospels by Craig S. Keener (13 Apr 2012) ISBN 0802868886 page 163
  26. ^ Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship by Marcus J. Borg (1 Aug 1994) ISBN 1563380943 pages 4-6
  27. ^ Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"
  28. ^ James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
  29. ^ The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".
  30. ^ Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0-86012-006-6 pages 730-731
  31. ^ Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9-page 15
  32. ^ "What about the resurrection? ... Some people believe it did, some believe it didn't. ... But if you do believe it, it is not as a historian" Ehrman, B. Jesus, Interrupted, pg 176 HarperOne; 1 Reprint edition (2 February 2010)
  33. ^ Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0-664-25703-8 page 181
  34. ^ a b Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0-8054-4482-3 pages 431-436
  35. ^ Van Voorst (2000) pp. 39-53
  36. ^ Schreckenberg, Heinz; Kurt Schubert (1992). Jewish Traditions in Early Christian Literature. ISBN 90-232-2653-4. 
  37. ^ Kostenberger, Andreas J.; L. Scott Kellum; Charles L. Quarles (2009). The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. ISBN 0-8054-4365-7. 
  38. ^ The new complete works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus, William Whiston, Paul L. Maier ISBN 0-8254-2924-2 pages 662-663
  39. ^ Josephus XX by Louis H. Feldman 1965, ISBN 0674995023 page 496
  40. ^ Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence ISBN 0-8028-4368-9. page 83
  41. ^ Flavius Josephus; Maier, Paul L. (December 1995). Josephus, the essential works: a condensation of Jewish antiquities and The Jewish war ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 pages 284-285
  42. ^ P.E. Easterling, E. J. Kenney (general editors), The Cambridge History of Latin Literature, page 892 (Cambridge University Press, 1982, reprinted 1996). ISBN 0-521-21043-7
  43. ^ a b Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53
  44. ^ a b Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition Baker Academic, ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 127
  45. ^ F.F. Bruce,Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974) p. 23
  46. ^ Theissen, Gerd; Merz, Annette (1998). The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8006-3122-2. 
  47. ^ The Case Against Christianity, By Michael Martin, pg 50-51, at http://books.google.co.za/books?id=wWkC4dTmK0AC&pg=PA52&dq=historicity+of+jesus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=o-_8U5-yEtTH7AbBpoCoAg&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=tacitus&f=false
  48. ^ The Historical Jesus in the Twentieth Century: 1900-1950, By Walter P. Weaver, pg 53, pg 57, at http://books.google.co.za/books?id=1CZbuFBdAMUC&pg=PA45&dq=historicity+of+jesus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=o-_8U5-yEtTH7AbBpoCoAg&ved=0CEoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=tacitus&f=false
  49. ^ a b Secret of Regeneration, By Hilton Hotema, pg 100, at http://books.google.co.za/books?id=jCaopp3R5B0C&pg=PA100&dq=interpolations+in+tacitus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CRf-U9-VGZCe7AbxrIDQCA&ved=0CCAQ6AEwATge#v=onepage&q=interpolations%20in%20tacitus&f=false
  50. ^ Jesus, University Books, New York, 1956, p.13
  51. ^ France, RT (1986). Evidence for Jesus (Jesus Library). Trafalgar Square Publishing. pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-340-38172-8. 
  52. ^ Bart Ehrman, Did Jesus Exist? Harper Collins, 2012, p. 12, ""In simpler terms, the historical Jesus did not exist . Or if he did, he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity." further quoting as authoritative the fuller definition provided by Earl Doherty in Jesus: Neither God Nor Man. Age of Reason, 2009, pp. vii–viii: it is "the theory that no historical Jesus worthy of the name existed, that Christianity began with a belief in a spiritual, mythical figure, that the Gospels are essentially allegory and fiction, and that no single identifiable person lay at the root of the Galilean preaching tradition."
  53. ^ "Jesus Outside the New Testament" Robert E. Van Voorst, 2000, p=8-9
  54. ^ Richard Dawkins. The God Delusion. p. 122. ISBN 1-4303-1230-0. 
  55. ^ God is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens, 2007, Chapter 8
  56. ^ "The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David" Thomas L. Thompson Basic Book Perseus Books' 2005
  57. ^ The Pagan Christ, Tom Harpur, 2004
  58. ^ Jesus Remembered Volume 1, by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 pp. 125-126: "the historical Jesus is properly speaking a nineteenth- and twentieth-century construction using the data supplied by the Synoptic tradition, not Jesus back then," (the Jesus of Nazareth who walked the hills of Galilee), "and not a figure in history whom we can realistically use to critique the portrayal of Jesus in the Synoptic tradition."
  59. ^ Meir, Marginal Jew, 1:21-25
  60. ^ T. Merrigan, The Historical Jesus in the Pluralist Theology of Religions, in The Myriad Christ: Plurality and the Quest for Unity in Contemporary Christology (ed. T. Merrigan and J. Haers). Princeton-Prague Symposium on Jesus Research, & Charlesworth, J. H. Jesus research: New methodologies and perceptions : the second Princeton-Prague Symposium on Jesus Research, Princeton 2007, p. 77-78: "Dunn points out as well that 'the Enlightenment Ideal of historical objectivity also projected a false goal onto the quest for the historical Jesus,' which implied that there was a 'historical Jesus,' objectively verifiable, 'who will be different from the dogmatic Christ and the Jesus of the Gospels and who will enable us to criticize the dogmatic Christ and the Jesus of the Gospels.' (Jesus Remembered, p. 125)."
  61. ^ Herzog, W. R. (2005). Prophet and teacher: An introduction to the historical Jesus. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 6
  62. ^ Jesus of Nazareth by Paul Verhoeven (Apr 6, 2010) ISBN 1583229051 page 39
  63. ^ a b John P. Meier "How do we decide what comes from Jesus" in The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 pages 126-128
  64. ^ John P. Meier "How do we decide what comes from Jesus" in The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 pages 132-136
  65. ^ Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 ISBN 0-8054-4482-3 pages 211-214
  66. ^ a b A Brief Introduction to the New Testament by Bart D. Ehrman 2008 ISBN 0-19-536934-3 page 136
  67. ^ a b A Century of Theological and Religious Studies in Britain, 1902-2002 by Ernest Nicholson 2004 ISBN 0-19-726305-4 pages 125-126
  68. ^ a b Craig Evans, 2006 "Josephus on John the Baptist" in The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 55-58
  69. ^ The new complete works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus, William Whiston, Paul L. Maier ISBN 0-8254-2924-2 pages 662-663
  70. ^ Jesus as a figure in history: how modern historians view the man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell 1998 ISBN 0-664-25703-8 page 47
  71. ^ Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 31-32
  72. ^ Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian's Account of His Life and Teaching by Maurice Casey 2010 ISBN 0-567-64517-7 page 35
  73. ^ a b John the Baptist: prophet of purity for a new age by Catherine M. Murphy 2003 ISBN 0-8146-5933-0 pages 29-30
  74. ^ Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 15
  75. ^ An introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity by Delbert Royce Burkett 2002 ISBN 0-521-00720-8 pages 247-248
  76. ^ Who is Jesus? by Thomas P. Rausch 2003 ISBN 978-0-8146-5078-3 page 36
  77. ^ The relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth: A Critical Study by Daniel S. Dapaah 2005 ISBN 0-7618-3109-6 page 91
  78. ^ a b Authenticating the Activities of Jesus by Bruce Chilton and Craig A. Evans 2002 ISBN 0391041649 pages 3-7
  79. ^ Amy-Jill Levine in the The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. 2006 Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 page 4
  80. ^ a b Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Chronos, kairos, Christos by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129
  81. ^ The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114
  82. ^ Geoffrey Blainey; A Short History of Christianity; Viking; 2011; p.3
  83. ^ Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (Nov 1, 1998) ISBN 0664257038 page 117
  84. ^ Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
  85. ^ The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303
  86. ^ Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29
  87. ^ In The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7-page 303 Marcus Borg states that the suggestions that an adult Jesus traveled to Egypt of India are "without historical foundation"
  88. ^ InWho Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29 John Dominic Crossan states that none of the theories presented to fill the 15-18-year gap between the early life of Jesus and the start of [his ministry have been supported by modern scholarship.
  89. ^ Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9-page 17
  90. ^ James Barr, Which language did Jesus speak, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1970; 53(1) pages 9–29 [1]
  91. ^ Handbook to exegesis of the New Testament by Stanley E. Porter 1997 ISBN 90-04-09921-2 pages 110–112
  92. ^ Jesus in history and myth by R. Joseph Hoffmann 1986 ISBN 0-87975-332-3-page 98
  93. ^ James Barr's review article Which language did Jesus speak (referenced above) states that Aramaic has the widest support among scholars.
  94. ^ Jesus Remembered by James D. G. Dunn 2003 ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 pages 313-315
  95. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Galilee: Characteristics of Galileans: "
  96. ^ The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas J. Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum and Charles L Quarles (Jul 15, 2012) ISBN 1433677083 page 40
  97. ^ Herodias: at home in that fox's den by Florence Morgan Gillman 2003 ISBN 0-8146-5108-9 pages 25-30
  98. ^ Herod Antipas by Harold W. Hoehner 1983 ISBN 0-310-42251-5 pages 125-127
  99. ^ Christianity and the Roman Empire: background texts by Ralph Martin Novak 2001 ISBN 1-56338-347-0 pages 302-303
  100. ^ Hoehner, Harold W (1978). Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Zondervan. pp. 29–37. ISBN 0-310-26211-9. 
  101. ^ Pontius Pilate: portraits of a Roman governor by Warren Carter 2003 ISBN 0-8146-5113-5 pages 44-45
  102. ^ The history of the Jews in the Greco-Roman world by Peter Schäfer 2003 ISBN 0-415-30585-3 page 108
  103. ^ Backgrounds of early Christianity by Everett Ferguson 2003 ISBN 0-8028-2221-5 page 416
  104. ^ The forging of races: race and scripture in the Protestant Atlantic world by Colin Kidd 2006 ISBN 0-521-79324-6 page 18
  105. ^ Jesus: the complete guide by Leslie Houlden 2006 082648011X pages 63-100
  106. ^ The likeness of the king: a prehistory of portraiture in late medieval France by Stephen Perkinson 2009 ISBN 0-226-65879-1 page 30
  107. ^ Georgi, Dieter (1986). The Opponents of Paul in Second Corinthians. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress. 
  108. ^ Georgi, Dieter (1991). Theocracy in Paul's Praxis and Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress. 
  109. ^ The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria by Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter (Aug 30, 2002) ISBN 0664225373 pages 1-6
  110. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research by Stanley E. Porter 2004 ISBN 0567043606 pages 100-120
  111. ^ a b The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology by Alan Richardson 1983 ISBN 0664227481 pages 215-216
  112. ^ a b Interpreting the New Testament by Daniel J. Harrington (Jun 1990) ISBN 0814651240 pages 96-98
  113. ^ The Historical Jesus and the Final Judgment Sayings in Q by Brian Han Gregg (30 Jun 2006) ISBN 3161487508 page 29
  114. ^ Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research by Stanley E. Porter 2004 ISBN 0567043606 pages 77-78
  115. ^ "Jesus Research and Archaeology: A New Perspective" by James H. Charlesworth in Jesus and archaeology edited by James H. Charlesworth 2006 ISBN 0-8028-4880-X pages 11-15
  116. ^ a b Soundings in the Religion of Jesus: Perspectives and Methods in Jewish and Christian Scholarship by Bruce Chilton Anthony Le Donne and Jacob Neusner 2012 ISBN 0800698010 page 132
  117. ^ Mason, Steve (2002), "Josephus and the New Testament" (Baker Academic)
  118. ^ Tabor, James (2012)"Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity" (Simon & Schuster)
  119. ^ Eisenman, Robert (1998), "James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls" (Watkins)
  120. ^ Butz, Jeffrey "The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity" (Inner Traditions)
  121. ^ Tabor, James (2007), "The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity"
  122. ^ "Introducing the Journal of Higher Criticism". 
  123. ^ Hendel, Ronald (June 2010). "Knowledge and Power in Biblical Scholarship". Retrieved 2011-01-06. "... The problem at hand is how to preserve the critical study of the Bible in a professional society that has lowered its standards to the degree that apologetics passes as scholarship ..." 
  124. ^ Meier, John. "Finding the Historical Jesus: An Interview With John P. Meier". St. Anthony Messenger. Retrieved Jan 6, 2011. "... I think a lot of the confusion comes from the fact that people claim they are doing a quest for the historical Jesus when de facto they’re doing theology, albeit a theology that is indeed historically informed." 
  125. ^ "Biography Clive Marsh". 
  126. ^ Clive Marsh "Quests of the Historical Jesus in New Historicist Perspective" in Biblical Interpretation Journal Volume 5, Number 4, 1997 , pp. 403-437(35)
  127. ^ "Jesus is His Own Ideology: An Interview with Nick Perrin". "My point in the book is to disabuse readers of the notion that Jesus scholars are scientists wearing white lab coats. Like everyone else, they want certain things to be true about Jesus and equally want certain others not to be true of him. I’m included in this (I really hope that I am right in believing that Jesus is both Messiah and Lord.) Will this shape my scholarship? Absolutely. How can it not? We should be okay with that."
  128. ^ McKnight, Scot (4/09/2010). "The Jesus We'll Never Know". Retrieved Jan 15, 2011. "One has to wonder if the driving force behind much historical Jesus scholarship is ... a historian's genuine (and disinterested) interest in what really happened. The theological conclusions of those who pursue the historical Jesus simply correlate too strongly with their own theological predilections to suggest otherwise."  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  129. ^ Akenson, Donald (1998). Surpassing wonder: the invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. University of Chicago Press. pp. 539–555. ISBN 978-0-226-01073-1. Retrieved Jan 8, 2011. "... The point I shall argue below is that, the agreed evidentiary practices of the historians of Yeshua, despite their best efforts, have not been those of sound historical practice ..." 
  130. ^ "Queen's University:Department of History". Retrieved Jan 22, 2011. "Don Akenson: Professor Irish Studies" 
  131. ^ Dunn, James (2003). Christianity In the Making Volume 1: Jesus Remembered. Cambridge, MA: Eermans. p. 126. 
  132. ^ Jesus Remembered, by James Dunn; p.102
  133. ^ Jesus the Christ by Walter Kasper (Nov 1976) ISBN page 31
  134. ^ Theological Hermeneutics by Angus Paddison (Jun 6, 2005) ISBN 0521849837 Cambridge Univ Press page 43
  135. ^ The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan (Feb 26, 1993) ISBN 0060616296 page xviii
  136. ^ The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 117–125
  137. ^ Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman 1999 ISBN 0-19-512473-1 pages 22–23
  138. ^ Meier 1994 v.2 ch. 17; Ehrman 1999 p.227-8

References[edit]

v. 1, The Roots of the Problem and the Person, 1991, ISBN 0-385-26425-9
v. 2, Mentor, Message, and Miracles, 1994, ISBN 0-385-46992-6
v. 3, Companions and Competitors, 2001, ISBN 0-385-46993-4
v. 4, Law and Love, 2009, ISBN 978-0-300-14096-5
v. 1, The New Testament and the People of God. Augsburg Fortress Publishers: 1992.;
v. 2, Jesus and the Victory of God. Augsburg Fortress Publishers: 1997.;
v. 3, The Resurrection of the Son of God. Augsburg Fortress Publishers: 2003.
  • Wright, N.T. The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering who Jesus was and is. IVP 1996
  • Yaghjian, Lucretia. "Ancient Reading", in Richard Rohrbaugh, ed., The Social Sciences in New Testament Interpretation. Hendrickson Publishers: 2004. ISBN 1-56563-410-1.

External links[edit]

  • "Jesus Christ". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2009. The first section, on Jesus' life and ministry