The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria

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Westminster John Knox Press, Jan 1, 2002 - Religion - 344 pages
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Should the dissimilarity between Jesus and early Christianity or between Jesus and Judaism be the central criteria for the historical Jesus? Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter argue that the criterion of dissimilarity does not do justice to the single most important result of more than two-hundred years of Jesus research: that the historical Jesus belongs to both Judaism and Christianity. The two authors propose a criterion of historical plausibility so that historical phenomenon under question can be considered authentic so long as it can be plausibly understood in its Jewish context and also facilitates a plausible explanation for its later effects in Christian history. This book is a cooperative project between Dagmar Winter and Gerd Theissen and represents the fruit of many years of their research on the historical Jesus.

 

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Contents

Fundamental Problems in the Quest for Criteria
8
Introduction to the Problematic
19
The Criterion of Dissimilarity in the History
27
for Understanding Jesus
44
The History of the Criterion of Dissimilarity
76
The Criterion of Historical Plausibility
172
of the Historical Figure of Jesus
188
of the Life of Jesus
194
The Problem of Historical Relativism
242
A Collection of Formulations
261
1878
267
1900
269
1912
275
1955
279
1965
285
1971
290

The Problem of Historical Plausibility
201
Comprehensive Plausibility
209
Criteria in Jesus Research and the Wide Ugly Ditch
226
The Problem of Historical Source Criticism
233
1983
302
1994
315
Index of Authors
337
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Gerd Theissen is Professor of New Testament at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. His books include The Religion of the Earliest Churches and The Shadow of the Galilean: The Quest of the Historical Jesus in Narrative Form.

Dagmar Winter is Associate Vicar at Hexham Abbey and Hexham Deanery Training Officer in Northumberland, England.

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