The Continued Quest for a Historical Jesus

Jesus research is in a new and exciting period. There is the Renewed New Quest and the Third Quest for a Historical Jesus. Many are very optimistic with theses conflicting but complimentary movements.  The Renewed Quest sees a non-Jewish Jesus and comes from the Jesus Seminar of Robert Funk.

The Third Quest sees a very Jewish Jesus  and are less skeptical than the other movement about the canonical Gospels for historical  retrieval of the life of Jesus. These scholars include  N.T. Wright, E. P. Sanders, John P. Meyer, Ben Witherington and Ben . Meyer.  The interplay of these two are opening up a very Jewish  field of research that coincides with fresh ancient Middle Eastern Studies . Dominic Crossan has been instrumental in this area. I would also refer you to the awesome three voluem work edited by Charleworth, The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. 1600 pages of articles by top scholars.  Second Temple Judaism is unraveling and showing up as a solid historical world in which jesus studies become much more grounded.

New methodological  historical research is yielding new anwers as well as giving a better interpretation in how to use the older methods of research.  I would refer you to Bart Ehrmans textual methodologies very new and top notch methods of determining the earliest and most likely readings of the text.

The cynicism of mythicist is simply a claim that there is nothing retrieval be behind Marcion's version, Iraneas' version, Ignatius' version, Augustine's version, Clement's version, Origen's version, Arius' version, Athanasius' version, etc, etc, etc..... and that is simply and never was so. 96 % of the text of the New Testament is reconstructed and adequately dated. And it has been. 

I think a lot of us believe we  know some of what was originally spoken and what that means for general research for the next 20 years or so.  There are two competing views from the above a non-apocalyptic Cynic teacher  and a very Apocalyptic Jewish Teacher.  I would say that these will combine and reflect  the teacher of morality and day to day living  ( that molds the person into  one fit for the coming kingdom and worthy of baptism)  and the one who calls to baptism  in preparation of the end.  Q1 in other words shows the moral teachings and the less historical stuff is because it is preaching that goes back to the historical theology of Jesus!!!!! The end did not come but that belief did create some radical ethics that became the underpinning of the Western world that remains today.

Written by Tommy G. Baker