From Publishers Weekly
Anyone intrigued by the history, methodology and results of the research done in the quest for the historical Jesus should read Powell's study. In his opening chapter, Powell notes that interest in the historical Jesus began in the 1700s due to Reimarus's volume that declared Jesus to be a messiah only in a worldly, political sense. He then explains how later scholars have influenced the search for the historical Jesus. The heart of the book lies in Powell's "snapshots" of Jesus, a sampling of the diverse portraits of the historical Jesus and of the scholars who are engaged in contemporary research, including: Jesus as social prophet (Richard A. Horsley); Jesus as charismatic Jew (Geza Vermes); Jesus as magician (Morton Smith); Jesus as Jewish sage (Ben Witherington III); and Jesus as cynic philosopher (F. Gerald Downing). He then presents what he regards as the six key players in the current quest for the historical Jesus?the participants in the Jesus Seminar, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus J. Borg, E.P. Sanders, John P. Meier and N.T. Wright?and offers critiques of their methods and findings. Powell concludes that the goal of our search for the historical Jesus should be "the Jesus of a story, a story of which history is but a part, sometimes a shadow."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Mark Allan Powell
is Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.