Quest for the Historical jesus

  • Inspired by the work of Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768) who believed:
    • Early Christians tampered with the gospel accounts.
    • There was a real difference between Jesus' beliefs and the early church.
    • Jesus was a political figure who led a popular rising against Rome and was shattered by his failure.
    • The disciples invented the concept of "spiritual redemption" in place of what Reimarus said was Jesus' message of a liberated Israel.
    • The invented the resurrection to cover up Jesus' death.
  • Was explored in the 20th century with the following approaches:
    • Apocalyptic critique (Weiss and Schweitzer)
      • Held that Jesus' ministry was determined by his apocalyptic outlook. Christ is a remote figure, whose hopes and expectations came to nothing.
    • Sceptical critique (Wrede)
      • In Mark's gospel, theology has been…


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