Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Third Quest for the Historical Jesus is over

So says Craig Evans in the first of a series of posts on the Future of Historical Jesus Studies over on Near Emmaus.  I am pleased to hear this.  I have been in favour of abandoning "the third quest" of the historical Jesus for some time (see also NT Pod 49: What is the Third Quest of the Historical Jesus?).  The term has been a tough one from the start, but became increasingly so as the 1990s progressed.  But let's please not start talking about "the fourth quest" or any similar terms.  Let's just talk about historical Jesus research and have done.

5 comments:

Brian LePort said...

All the Johannine scholars who have been talking about a Fourth Quest that includes the Fourth Gospel will be a bit disappointed to hear of the word "quest" being dropped altogether! :)

Deane Galbraith said...

Nobody mention the 1 1/2th Quest for the Aryan Jesus - I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.

Brian - that's a very loose use of the term "scholars".

criticalbelief.com said...

Any consensus, in your view Mark, on whether Jesus was an eschatological prophet as Schweitzer asserted? Or was the eschatology bolted on by Paul or the early Church?

Stanford J. Young said...

I don't have a problem in principle of trying to describe historical "phases" of the quest for the historical "jesus" - but such descriptions do, as you point out, Mark, tend to become difficult to maintain and the categories tend to fall apart. The quests may in fact differ (Bultmann's presuppositions differ from mine - so too his quest). This reminds me of Kuhn's Scientific Revolutions. There are periodically, major shifts in scientific theory. Revolution is required in part due to biases and prejudice of the currently accepted system. I think that's what has happened with the work of Wright and others - though I think NTW's contribution has been highly significant historically.

Stanford J. Young said...

I don't have a problem in principle of trying to describe historical "phases" of the quest for the historical "jesus" - but such descriptions do, as you point out, Mark, tend to become difficult to maintain and the categories tend to fall apart. The quests may in fact differ (Bultmann's presuppositions differ from mine - so too his quest). This reminds me of Kuhn's Scientific Revolutions. There are periodically, major shifts in scientific theory. Revolution is required in part due to biases and prejudice of the currently accepted system. I think that's what has happened with the work of Wright and others - though I think NTW's contribution has been highly significant historically.