Who on Earth Was Jesus?: The Modern Quest for the Jesus of History

Who on Earth Was Jesus?: The Modern Quest for the Jesus of History

by David Boulton


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Who on Earth Was Jesus?: The Modern Quest for the Jesus of History by David Boulton

The first fully comprehensive account of the debate between modern scholars on the Jesus of history before he became the Christ of faith. David Boulton surveys all the major schools of historical Jesus scholarship in turn: the liberal Jesus Seminar, the conservative 'New Questers' and the radical skeptics, covering over 30 experts. He lays out the sources, biblical, 'heretical' and secular, taking in the most recent discoveries and explaining where historians agree and disagree in recovering a credible portrait of the man behind 'the greatest story ever told'.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781846940187
Publisher: Christian Alternative
Publication date: 04/25/2008
Pages: 488
Sales rank: 1,321,853
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 11.30(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword   Richard Holloway     xiv
Author's Preface     xvi
Why Search for the Historical Jesus?     2
The road map     5
Seeking a pure Jesus and finding a congenial one     6
Cameo: The quest for purity and truth     9
The Long Search: Questing Old and New     10
Gospel harmonies     10
A kosher Jesus     11
A Jesus within     12
A rationalized Jesus     12
A humanist Jesus     16
Dumps in the sands     19
The end of the 'Old Quest'     21
Between quests     24
Back on the trail     25
Notes to Chapter 2     29
The Gap     32
Chinese whispers: the oral tradition     34
Jesus reconstructed, or Jesus remembered?     37
Notes to Chapter 3     38
Gospel Truth     40
Paul's letters     40
The non-Pauline letters     47
The biblical gospels     48
Mark     49
Cameo: The invention of the narrative gospel     50
Cameo: Sex, lies and fraud in Secret Mark     58
Matthew     64
Luke     67
John     70
Cameo: Jews? Israelites? Judeans?     76
Notes to Chapter 4     78
Jesus Before Christianity     81
Q, M and L     81
Thomas     88
Cameo: Q revealed     89
Cameo: Thomas without doubts     100
Signs     104
The Didache     105
Peter: the first passion story?     107
Notes to Chapter 5     109
Cameo: 'In the know': Gnosticism and the gospel of Thomas     112
The Unofficial Faces of Jesus     114
Digression 1: the game of the name     115
Digression 2: "pious forgeries"     118
Buried treasure: the Nag Hammadi hoard     120
The Secret Book of James     123
The Dialogue of the Savior     124
The Gospel of Philip     125
Finds before and after Nag Hammadi     127
The Gospel of Mary     127
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas     127
Cameo: Did Jesus have a love life?     128
The Infancy Gospel of James     130
The Gospel of Judas     131
Fragments     132
Jewish-Christian and other gospels      135
More buried treasure: the Dead Sea Scrolls     137
Early Jewish references to Jesus     139
'Yeshu the Nazarene'     139
Jesus written in stone     140
Cameo: Essenes and the Jesus movement. Any connection?     141
Roman references to Jesus     144
The Mara letter     145
Pliny the Younger, Tacitus and Seutonius     147
Josephus     148
Postscript: another Jesus?     153
Notes to Chapter 6     155
The Jesus Seminar     160
The method: beads and ballots     162
Cameo: Robert Funk on "The Aim of the Quest"     165
Rules of written evidence     169
Rules of oral evidence     173
What did Jesus really say?     175
What did Jesus really do?     177
Jesus and Apocalypse     182
Cameo: The Red and Pink Jesus     185
The Seminar and its critics     190
Westar as "destroyers of Christianity"     191
James Dunn: What the Seminar missed     192
Thomas Altizer: No Christ, no passion     195
Liberal apostasy or group experiment?     197
Notes to Chapter 7      198
Diversity in Unity: A Range of Jesus Seminar Portraits     199
Robert W Funk's Jesus as stand-up comic     201
Bernard Brandon Scott's Jesus as visionary poet     205
Cameo: Funk on "Demoting Jesus"     206
John Dominic Crossan's Jesus as social revolutionary     209
Cameo: Crossan on Jesus as "permanent performance"     221
Marcus Borg's Jesus as revolutionary mystic     224
Cameo: Borg on "ecstatic religious experience"     232
A less congenial Jesus     234
Kathleen Corley's Jesus: "A foundation myth for Christian feminism"     234
Gerd Ludemann's "almost ridiculous" Jesus     239
Jesus and "The Powers that Be"     244
Roy W Hoover: Q's Jesus "as good as it gets"     245
Walter Wink's non-violent Jesus     246
Notes to Chapter 8     248
Jesus as Prophet of the Apocalypse     252
E P Sanders: Jesus and the end of history     255
John P Meier: Jesus as mentor, message-bringer and miracle-maker     276
N T Wright: Jesus as son of Israel's god     280
Cameo: Wright on Jesus as embodiment of the kingdom     288
Joseph Ratzinger: a Pope's Jesus     291
Notes for Chapter 9     298
A Very Jewish Jesus     301
Geza Vermes: Jesus as charismatic holy man     302
Galilee in the age of Jesus     305
Popular religion in the age of Jesus     308
Models of charismatic holy men in the age of Jesus     310
Cameo: The Mishnah and the Talmud     313
Cameo: Vermes' Jesus as "highest and holiest"     317
Hyam Maccoby: Jesus the Pharisee     319
Cameo: Jesus, the prostitute's fee and the High Priest's privy: a dirty joke     325
Robert Eisenman: Jesus the brother of James     327
Notes to Chapter 10     333
History, Mystery and Myth: An Irretrievable Jesus     336
William Wrede's Jesus as Mark's own creation     337
Alvar Ellegard's Jesus one hundred years before Christ     341
G.A. Wells: Jesus as myth and legend     347
The gospel according to Mack     350
Notes to Chapter 11     361
Reds and Blacks     366
The Red consensus     366
Mixed colors     369
The problem of Apocalypse (again)     374
Pro-apocalyptic: waiting for God to act     375
Anti-apocalyptic: waiting for us to act     379
Both/and: God and humanity act together      383
Notes to Chapter 12     384
Which Jesus?     386
The "Making Wonderful Time"     386
"Showers of blessing"     388
"The vision of the Time of the End"     389
The dream of "the Day of the Lord"     392
Payback time     393
"The Biggest Evil around"     401
"The utopia that sets history in motion"     404
Notes to Chapter 13     406
Bibliography     408
Index     413

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