Skeptical rationalists such as Reimarus and Strauss would never have guessed that their project of uncovering the historical Jesus would attract professing Christians. But here, in this provocative volume, readers find twenty-first-century Christians actually justifying that project as an obligation of their faith in the Incarnation. Readers thus hear—as one of the five researchers presented here in dialogue—from a Catholic scholar arguing that just as the study of history can help us learn about, say, Napoléon or Socrates, so can it help us understand Jesus of Nazareth. A leading Evangelical researcher substantiates this point by explaining how historical inquiry illuminates Jesus’ place within a first-century Greco-Roman culture. Yet when an Episcopalian participant questions the very existence of a historical Jesus, arguing that the Gospels merely deliver mythic archetypes, not reliable narratives, readers may see why theologians such as Kähler and Barth warned—as the editors acknowledge—against seeking Jesus through historical scholarship rather than through the divine miracle of faith. Certain to spark sharp debate. --Bryce Christensen
About the Author
James K. Beilby (Ph.D., Marquette University) is professor of systematic and philosophical theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include Why Bother With Truth?
(with David Clark), Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
and The Meaning of the Atonement: Four Views
(both with Paul Eddy), Naturalism Defeated?, For Faith and Clarity
and Epistemology as Theology
. His articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Faith and Philosophy, Philosophia Christi, Religious Studies, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, Sophia
and Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.
Paul R. Eddy (Ph.D., Marquette University) is Professor of Theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include John Hick's Pluralist Philosophy of World Religions
(Ashgate), Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology
(with G. A. Boyd, Baker) and Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
(with James Beilby IVP).
Robert M. Price is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute as well as the editor of The Journal of Higher Criticism
John Dominic Crossan is professor emeritus in the department of teligious studies at DePaul University in Chicago. He has lectured to lay and scholarly audiences across the United States as well as in Ireland and England, Scandinavia and Finland, Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, and South Africa. He has been interviewed on 200 radio stations, including four times on NPRs Fresh Air
with Terry Gross.
Luke Timothy Johnson is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. His well known New Testament studies include The Writings of the New Testament
(1986), The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels
(1996) and Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity: A Missing Dimension of New Testament Studies
(1998). He often lectures at universities and seminaries worldwide. He is a noted critic of the Jesus Seminar, often taking stances against Burton Mack, Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan in discussions of the "historical Jesus."
James D. G. Dunn was for many years the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham. Since his retirement he has been made Emeritus Lightfoot Professor. He is credited with coining the phrase "New Perspective on Paul" during his 1982 Manson Memorial Lecture.
Darrell L. Bock (Ph.D., Aberdeen) is research professor of New Testament studies and professor of spiritual development and culture at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. He has written the monograph Blasphemy and Exaltation in Judaism and the Final Examination of Jesus
and volumes on Luke in both the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament and the IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Bock is a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He serves as a corresponding editor for Christianity Today,
and he has published articles in Los Angeles Times
and the Dallas Morning News.