The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide

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More About This Textbook


In the continuing quest for the elusive but compelling figure of Jesus of Nazareth, Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz's authoritative yet engaging book is the single most helpful resource to date.

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800631222
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 676
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Table of Contents

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
Solutions 573
Index of Biblical References 613
Index of Names and Subjects 634
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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    Exhaustive, not for beginners, formatted as a textbook, excellent for reference

    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.

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