August 1, 2014
The Quest for the Historical Jesus
Over the centuries scholars from around the world have written a lot about religion, its meaning, relevance and contribution to humanity. There have been many speculations upon the nature and historical background of Jesus Christ. Many scholars have tried to dig into the few clues as to His identity and come up with a human side to which we can all relate. The study of Christianity and how it relates to Jesus Christ is very important to the whole world.
Concerning the issue of Christianity, for example, the majority of people are taught in most schools and churches that Jesus ...view middle of the document...
..our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The Bible shows us that Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a fraud and not who he claim to be. In an attempt to deny the words of Jesus scholars, who were not around 2000 years ago, claim that the historical Jesus did not say many of the things the Bible said he did. How can these scholars who did not witness Jesus in action or heard him speak have better insight into what Jesus said or did not say than His apostles who lived with, served Him and whom Jesus taught. Darrell L. Bock (as stated in Farnell) argues, “you can abide by historical Jesus study rules and still move toward a better historical understanding of Jesus that also explains the faith of His earliest followers.” Bock concludes, “after applying the rules of historical Jesus study...they affirm to us that the Jesus of history links to and discloses the Christ of faith.”
Most scholars think that it is “impossible to compose a full biography of Jesus because the Gospels are very selective in the amount and kind of information they present about him.” The critical evaluation of the historicity of Jesus began with the Jewish historian Josephus (ca. 37-100 CE), who according to Donne, even though “it is difficult to reconstruct his words due the insertion of Christian theology into his primary mention of Jesus...his core of Jesus does indeed provide an early historical summary.” A second historian, John Meir reconstructs Jesus as “a wise man, a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure who gained a following among many Jews and Gentile origin” A third historian Graham Stranton suggest that “Jesus was a doer of strange deeds, and a deluder of the simple minded. He led astray many Jews and Greeks.”
Donne stated that the “intellectual history typically begins with Reimarus or Lessing discussing the impacts of Schweitzer, Kahler, Bultman (the No Quest’ Years) and Kaseman (the New Quest) and eventually leads to the so-called Third Quest.” According to Schweitzer, “before Reimarus, no one had attempted to form a historical conception of the life of Jesus”. German theology from the “Enlightenment to the present has shown a vast array of brilliant beams both intellectually and spiritually and Schweitzer must be counted among the brightest.” He stated that, “Jesus himself thought that God’s kingdom was about to arrive on earth and that God would install him as the Messiah.” His works composed of the bulk of the most important Jesus research done during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There is an “abundance of Jesus studies today that displays overwhelming methods, approaches, hypotheses, assumptions, and results.” The future of the historical Jesus study rests with the community of scholars being able to harness this chaotic creativity to its service, and to create order out of a morass of growing detail.”
Darrell Bock uses an...