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Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity [Paperback]

by Chris Keith, Anthony Le Donne
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

August 30, 2012 0567377237 978-0567377234 1
Criteria of authenticity, whose roots go back to before the pioneering work of Albert Schweitzer, have become a unifying feature of the so-called Third Quest for the Historical Jesus, finding a prominent and common place in the research of otherwise differing scholars. More recently, however, scholars from different methodological frameworks have expressed discontent with this approach to the historical Jesus. In the past five years, these expressions of discontent have reached a fever pitch.

The internationally renowned authors of this book examine the nature of this new debate and present the findings in a cohesive way aimed directly at making the coalface of Historical Jesus research accessible to undergraduates and seminary students. The book's larger ramifications as a thorough end to the Third Quest will provide a pressure valve for thousands of scholars who view historical Jesus studies as outmoded and misguided. This book has the potential to guide Jesus studies beyond the Third Quest and demand to be consulted by any scholar who discards, adopts, or adapts historical criteria.

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Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity + Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 1 edition (August 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0567377237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567377234
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking - The Traditional Method is Dead February 27, 2014
Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne have put together a forceful collection of essays in Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity. Honestly, this book has the potential to completely reshape the way historical Jesus studies are executed. The historiographical foundation of the Third Quest has been the criteria of authenticity. If one is to engage the sources seriously, then the criteria, it is said, are the scholarly tools for the job. Yet, as Keith and company show, the criteria cannot deliver what they promise.

The volume begins with an introduction by Le Donne articulating the intentions of the assembled scholars. While they are not monolithic in their evaluation of the criteria, they are unified in a general unrest and dissatisfaction with the way the criteria have been used. Thus, the volume is primarily unified in deconstruction while containing considerable variance in prescription for the future of historical Jesus studies. For example, some contributors think the criteria remain a valuable though limited tool, while others call for wholesale abandon of their use. Yet the thesis remains the same, the traditional use of the criteria is untenable.

The next two chapters are by Chris Keith and Jens Schröter. Keith demonstrates the dependence of the criteria upon form-criticism, arguing persuasively that if form-criticism is dead, then so are the criteria. Schröter in turn considers the historiographical methodology that underlies the criteria. As perhaps one the most sophisticated historiographers currently engaged in the Quest, Schröter's voice is especially significant.
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