Historical Jesus: An Essential Guideby James H. Charlesworth
Pub. Date: 01/01/2008
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the Historical Jesus. Scholarly portraits of Jesus appear regularly. Television documentaries and national magazines cover the latest manuscript and archaeological discoveries pertaining to Jesus, often making sensational pronouncements. How is the student of the Bible to assess these various claims about Jesus? And what difference does understanding his time and place make for theological thinking and historical research? James Charlesworth presents the solid results of modern study into the life and times of Jesus. Concisely yet comprehensively, Professor Charlesworth addresses the major questions of what can be known about Jesus' life and thought. No one today is better equipped to lead students through the thickets of controversy that surround contemporary Historical Jesus research.
This Abingdon Essential Guide fulfills the need for a brief, substantive, yet highly accessible introduction to this subject. Drawing on the best in current scholarship, written with the needs of students foremost in mind, and addressed to learners in a number of contexts, this book is the first choice of those who wish to acquaint themselves with the broad scope of issues and perspectives relating to modern quests for the Historical Jesus. It will also be a preferred source for those who want to refresh their knowledge regarding the context within which Jesus lived.
About the Author:
James H. Charlesworth is George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and Editor and Director of the Princeton Theological Seminary Dead Sea Scrolls Project
Table of ContentsPreface ix
Why is Jesus Research necessary?
How is Jesus Research possible?
No Quest, the Old Quest, the New Quest, and Jesus Research (Third Quest) 1
When did the study of the historical Jesus begin, and what has been learned?
Is it important to distinguish between what Jesus said and what the Evangelists reported?
Jesus Research and How to Obtain Reliable Information 15
What are the best methods for discerning traditions that originate with Jesus?
Sources, Especially Josephus 33
Do reports about Jesus exist outside the New Testament?
Are the Gospels objective biographies?
The Judaism of Jesus 45
Was Jesus not the first Christian?
Was Jesus an Essene, Pharisee, Zealot, or Sadducee?
Jesus' Birth and Youth 63
When and where was Jesus born?
Is there historicity in the virgin birth, and did some judge Jesus to be a mamzer?
Did Jesus travel to a foreign land to obtain wisdom and the powers of healing, or did he live with Essenes to obtain these powers?
Is there any reliable history in the noncanonical gospels that helps us understand Jesus' youth?
Jesus, John the Baptizer, and Jesus' Early Public Life 75
Was John the Baptizer Jesus' teacher?
Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?
Did Jesus perform miracles?
Jesus and Archaeology 85
How and in what significant ways is archaeology important for JesusResearch?
What are the most important archaeological discoveries for Jesus Research?
Was Jesus a peasant?
Jesus' Proclamation of God's Rule (the Kingdom of God) and His Parables 97
What was Jesus' fundamental message?
When did Jesus imagine God would inaugurate his Rule?
What term did Jesus use for God?
Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection 105
What led to Jesus' confrontation with some of the leading priests?
Who crucified Jesus and why?
Has Jesus' bone box (ossuary) been recovered?
If Jesus' bones have been discovered, is resurrection faith possible?
Did Jesus rise from the dead?
Suggested Readings 123
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