This article is about the Jesus Seminar.
In New Testament studies there often is a search for a non-messianic Jesus. This essay, however, suggests that the essential and distinctive characteristic of Jesus is to be found in his authority (Greek, exousia"). The author argues that "authority" as used by Mark derives from the authority of God that Jesus receives at his baptism. This authority is linked to Jesus' unique confidence to act on God's behalf.
The distinction between the Christ of faith and the historical Jesus is, according to Huffman, not a recent development in the church. This essay wants to examine the earliest interpretations that use this distinction.
"Historical Jesus" work is important. Just because we do not like the reconstruction of others who set about the task with different presuppositions, does not negate our responsibility to think about Jesus not just theologically but also from a historical perspective. Much of this work is being done in North America. This article tries to cover most of the works written in this field, concentrating on some of the leading writers in North America.
In an earlier article the work of some of the key contributors to the debate about the historical Jesus in the last 20 years was noted. This present article now focuses exclusively on the work of N.T.Wright. Wright's work is a breath-taking, magisterial accomplishment, grounded in a careful historical reasoning and deeply rich in theological consequences. He has established a new paradigm for the debate and no work in this field hereafter will be able to by-pass his work.
This is the third in a series of articles looking at the issues raised by modern research into the "historical Jesus". The first part was a general overview looking at the work of key writers such as Marcus Borg, E. P. Sanders and the work of the Jesus Seminar. A second part looked in more detail at the work of N.T. Wright with special reference to his book "Jesus and the Victory of God".