The Quest Of The Historical Jesus

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The ‘quest ‘ of the Historical Jesus is a terminology used to describe the historical analysis of Jesus during his lifetime and looks at the extent with which the Historical Jesus and the Christ of Faith can be severed from each other. A terminology first introduced by William Montgomery, different Historical Jesus scholars have theorized different approaches with which to go about studying the Historical Jesus. For example, the ‘New Quest’ introduced by Ernst Kasemann tries to use the Gospels to find information on the Historical Jesus while the ‘Third Quest’ introduced by N.J. Wright stressed the importance of Eschatology. In this essay, I will be comparing the effectiveness of using Jesus’ sayings for Historical Jesus research with the effectiveness …show more content…
Dodd and members of the Jesus seminar believe that focusing on the sayings of Jesus is essential in pursuing the quest of the Historical Jesus. These scholars believed that the authentic sayings of Jesus would unravel the characteristics and beliefs of Jesus ‘the teacher and parabler’. They also felt that the best way to validate Jesus’ deeds was to see whether these actions corresponded with his beliefs i.e. if his deeds illustrated the patterns that his sayings suggested. Delving further into said patterns, it is accurate to assume that one can deduce certain traits about Jesus and his ministry through his sayings. For instance, although Dale C. Allison is a critic of the ‘sayings-only approach’, he accepts that a collection of Jesus’ sayings can lead to general observations about the Historical Jesus. When you consider quotes like “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people”(Mark 1: 17) and “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33) shows us that Jesus demanded self-sacrifice from his followers. These particular sayings found in within the different Canonical Gospels exemplify the theme of self-sacrifice that Jesus taught and preached …show more content…
One of the criticisms of a saying’s based approach is that it is very difficult to get to the ‘core’ of authentic sayings. Historical Jesus scholars such as Birger Gerhadsson believe that the church transformed the original content of Jesus’ texts thus making it difficult to determine the true authenticity of any given saying. For example, in the saying of divorce (1 Cor 7:10, Matt 5:3, Matt 19:9, Mark 10:11, 16:18), Paul and Mark indicate that Jesus forbade women to leave their husbands while Matthew and Luke indicate that Jesus only referenced the men. Thus, you can see that the variations between the accounts of the different evangelist’s create the uncertainty with regards to Jesus’ actual opinion on divorce. It results in a scenario where his sayings on divorce can be seen as both authentic and unauthentic. To supplement this, Dale Allison notes that the Synoptic Gospels provide most of the first-century traditions that many Christians have accepted as fact. As a result of this, it is easy to construct an image of Jesus from the Synoptic descriptions and sayings that these Gospels provide. Taking all of that into account, Allison believes that it is not easy to show what actually goes back to the Historical Jesus and what does

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