The New Testament

A Historical and Theological Introduction

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6. The “Historical” Jesus

Questions for Research and Discussion

  1. The early questers for the historical Jesus are often criticized for reading the values of their own times into their notions of the historical Jesus. How significant of a problem is this today? How might we avoid this pitfall?
  2. What do you think of the criteria used by the so-called new questers? Are these criteria still of value today?
  3. “That the Jesus of history was to some extent different from the Gospels’ portrayal of him can hardly be doubted.” How does this statement impact you? How might it help you read the Gospels more conscientiously?
  4. Is it possible to make room for the supernatural in our historical investigations of the Gospels? If so, how might we go about this?
  5. Why is studying the historical Jesus necessary? What can be gained in this endeavor?