The inevitable personal bias in historical Jesus studies

‘Who doubts that authors who themselves have a high christology tend to write books in which the historical Jesus himself has a high christology? Or that those who are uncomfortable with Nicea and Chalcedon more often than not unearth a Jesus who humbled rather than exalted himself? The correlations between personal belief and historical discovery must be endless.

Jesus seems friendly to evangelical Protestantism in books written by evangelical Protestants, and he is a faithful Jew in books written by non-Christian Jews who want to reclaim Jesus. It is easy to be suspicious here. You can do anything with statistics, and you can do anything with Jesus, or at least lots of different things.’     

Dale Allison, The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus p. 16

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Dale C. Allison is Professor of New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and is counted among the top Jesus scholars working today. He is the author of numerous books, including “The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus”, “Studies in Matthew”, “Resurrecting Jesus”, “The Intertextual Jesus: Scripture in Q”, and “Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet”. He is also coeditor of “The Historical Jesus in Context “and coauthor of a three-volume commentary on Matthew in the International Critical Commentary series.



Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity, Judaism, Quotation, Recommended Reading

3 replies

  1. I agree with this. Do you equally think it applies to Muslims too?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Jesus seems friendly to evangelical Protestantism in books written by evangelical Protestants’

    – for example see the work of NT Wright and Richard Bauckham

    ——————

    ‘he is a faithful Jew in books written by non-Christian Jews who want to reclaim Jesus’

    – for example see the work of Géza Vermes and Hyam Maccoby

    ——————

    for a Jesus who is friendly to Islamic Christology see:

    Reza Aslan ‘Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth’

    Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood, ‘The Mysteries of Jesus: A Muslim Study of the Origins and Doctrines of the Christian Church’

    Like

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