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Comprehensively detailing the sources for our knowledge of Jesus, Theissen and Merz fully explore the historical and social context of Jesus and his activity. They then unfold what we can know about Jesus' characteristics as a charismatic teacher, a Jewish prophet, a healer, a teller of parables, and an ethical teacher. Finally, they examine closely the historical questions surrounding Jesus' last supper, his violent death, the accounts of Easter, and the beginnings of Christology.
Beholden to neither ancient dogma nor contemporary fantasy, written in a clear style with a variety of learning aids, The Historical Jesus will provide students, teachers, and other individuals with a fascinating and reliable guide into this most exciting field of Jesus research.
|Frequently Quoted Literature|
|1||The Quest of the Historical Jesus||1|
|Pt. 1||The Sources and their Evaluation||17|
|2||Christian Sources about Jesus||17|
|3||The Non-Christian Sources about Jesus||63|
|4||The Evaluation of the Sources: Historical Scepticism and the Study of Jesus||90|
|Pt. 2||The Framework of the History of Jesus||125|
|5||The Historical and Religious Framework of the Life of Jesus||125|
|6||The Chronological Framework of the Life of Jesus||151|
|7||The Geographical and Social Framework of the Life of Jesus||162|
|Pt. 3||The Activity and Preaching of Jesus||185|
|8||Jesus as a Charismatic: Jesus and his Social Relationships||185|
|9||Jesus as Prophet: Jesus' Eschatology||240|
|10||Jesus as Healer: The Miracles of Jesus||281|
|11||Jesus as Poet: The Parables of Jesus||316|
|12||Jesus as Teacher: The Ethics of Jesus||347|
|Pt. 4||Passion and Easter||405|
|13||Jesus as the Founder of a Cult: The Last Supper and the Primitive Christian Eucharist||405|
|14||Jesus as Martyr: The Passion of Jesus||440|
|15||The Risen Jesus: Easter and its Interpretations||474|
|16||The Historical Jesus and the Beginnings of Christology||512|
|Retrospect: A Short Life of Jesus||569|
|Index of Biblical References||613|
|Index of Names and Subjects||634|
Posted May 15, 2009
This is an extremely comprehensive coverage of the the literature on the Historical Jesus, with the authors' own synthesis of much of the material. It is structured as a textbook and apparently is used as an upper-division or graduate-level course text.
I got the feeling later in the book when discussing Jesus and his words and actions, that the authors were having their cake and eating it too, using material from the gospels to make their points that they had cast earlier doubt on as to its veracity.
I also felt that they completely ducked the debate on the resurrection, essentially assuming it, rather than discussing the debates that have occurred on it. Since the book was published by Fortress press an arm of Augsberg Publishing, a Lutheran organization, this is understandable.
Despite the above noted weaknesses, this is an absolute must for any serious student of the New Testament.