Home > The Bible > John Dominic Crossan on finding the historical Jesus

John Dominic Crossan on finding the historical Jesus

Is an understanding of the historical Jesus of any permanent relevance to Christianity itself? Is it all simply interesting historical background but quite irrelevant to faith itself? Is any historical reconstruction, and not just the preceding one, of any importance ever?

By historical study I mean analysis whose theories and methods, evidence and arguments, results and conclusions are open, in principle and practice, to any human observer, any disciplined investigator, and self-conscious and self-critical student. Abstracting, then, from my own or anyone else’s analysis, is such work mere background scenery, mere optional detail, or is it part and parcel of the whole? Granted, of course, that the historical Jesus is always an interpretive construct of its own time and place but open to all of that time and place, is such a construct always in dialectical tension with itself? (Crossan, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, p. 199, 1994)

Crossan J D. (1994).  Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. New York, New York.  Harper Collins. pp. 199.

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