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The God of Jesus: The Historical Jesus and the Search for Meaning
     

The God of Jesus: The Historical Jesus and the Search for Meaning

by Stephen J. Patterson
 
This book's title conveys its general premise, that is, that the quest for the historical Jesus has always been closely related to the Christian search for God. The author says that this is both good and necessary, provided that one properly understands the relationship between history and theology ("the Jesus of history" and "the Christ of faith") and does not

Overview

This book's title conveys its general premise, that is, that the quest for the historical Jesus has always been closely related to the Christian search for God. The author says that this is both good and necessary, provided that one properly understands the relationship between history and theology ("the Jesus of history" and "the Christ of faith") and does not confuse the two.

An opening chapter explains the history of the quest for the historical Jesus and how it has always been related to the search for God. It also proposes a scheme for understanding the relationship between history and theology.

The remaining chapters focus on various aspects of Jesus' life and teachings, related in large measure to the work of the Jesus Seminar. Patterson also develops a theology that might properly be called a "Jesus theology," and it is here that his input to the discussions of and about Jesus makes its most distinctive contribution.

The accessible style of writing in the book makes it useful for lay study groups. It is also suitable for college and seminary classrooms as a beginning book on the historical Jesus.

Stephen J. Patterson is Associate Professor of New Testament at Eden Theological Seminary and author of The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One thing seems to be missing from much of the written output of recent historical Jesus scholarship. Patterson (New Testament, Eden Theological Seminary) proposes to answer the question "So what?" by moving from the academy to the church, from scholarship to meaning. However, what he does mostly is present "a summary of scholarship ground out over several years by others," a large part of it the findings of the Jesus Seminar, of which he is a member. Patterson repeats what has been said many times before: first, that the canonical Gospels are not historically accurate or trustworthy, and second, that the Jesus portrayed in the Gospels is in reality the Jesus the young, growing, and struggling church of the second half of the first century needed to hear about. Unfortunately, on the issue of whether the Gospels are in any sense biographies, he ignores the work of Richard Burridge (What Are the Gospels?, Cambridge Univ., 1995). Left with a tendentious source of data, Patterson's reconstructions of the sayings and deeds of Jesus are based upon "likelihood" and "possibility." This work is a readable synthesis of liberal historical Jesus research but not the answer to "So what?"Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781563382284
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
04/01/1998
Series:
Bible/Testament Series
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)

Meet the Author


Stephen J. Patterson is Associate Professor of New Testament at Eden Theological Seminary and author of The God of Jesus: The Historical Jesus and the Search for Meaning (Trinity Press).

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