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  • Submitted: May 28 2014 06:33 PM
  • Last Updated: May 28 2014 06:33 PM
  • File Size: 6.96MB
  • Views: 2155
  • Downloads: 432
  • Author: Albert Schweitzer
  • theWord Version: 3.x - 4.x
  • Tab Name: The Quest of the Historical Jesus
  • Suggest New Tag:: Historical Jesus Research

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Albert Schweitzer

theWord Version:
3.x - 4.x

Tab Name:
The Quest of the Historical Jesus

Suggest New Tag::
Historical Jesus Research

The original edition was translated into English by William Montgomery and published in 1910. This book is now in the public domain.

In his book, Albert Schweitzer reviews all prior work on the question of the "historical Jesus" starting with the late 18th century. Regardless of whether or not you agree with his views, the book is a must read for understanding "historical Jesus" research. This book effectively stopped work on the "Historical Jesus" as a sub-discipline of New Testament studies until it was taken up again by Rudolf Bultmann in the 1950s.

Pronouncements by committees of academic scholars do not usually become media events, but this is precisely what has happened in the past few years with the Jesus Seminar. Its twin volumes, The Five Gospels and The Acts of Jesus, have captured public imagination, partly because of a continuing fascination with Jesus in North American society. The questions addressed by the Seminar — concerning the reliability of the New Testament Gospels and the authenticity of the deeds and sayings attributed to Jesus — while by no means new, have usually been discussed in sober lecture halls and learned academic tomes. But the Seminar's way of addressing these questions has been more academic street-theatre than ivory-tower discourse. Their procedure of voting with different-coloured beads — red for things that Jesus undoubtedly did or said, black for actions or sayings that he undoubtedly did not, with shades of pink and grey in between — and their publication of a correspondingly colour-coded version of the Gospels (a clever take-off on traditional red-letter editions) have been shrewdly devised to capture the attention of a sound-bite, photo-op culture. Public interest in the Jesus Seminar has been further heightened by the fact that in its version of the Gospels there is precious little red ink to be found at all; in other words, the total number of sayings and deeds considered to be certainly authentic is strikingly small.

Given the popularization of "historical Jesus" research in recent years, it is in the best interest of pastors and church leaders to at least become familiar with the issues--even if one disagrees with many of the conclusions put forward by proponents of the Jesus Seminar. Schwietzer's "The Quest of the Historical Jesus" is a good start.

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