Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth

Synopsis

Part of Fortress Press's classic text series. "This volume has justifiably held a leading position among scholarly presentations of Jesus' life and teachings".--Amos N. Wilder.

Excerpt

Albert Schweitzer's critical assessment of nineteenth-century attempts to reconstruct the life and message of the historical Jesus appeared at the beginning of our century and was published in 1910 in English translation under the title The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Schweitzer's work effectively silenced such efforts for at least half a century in German New Testament scholarship. the subsequent form-critical investigation of the Gospel tradition of the New Testament, especially by Rudolf Bultmann, deepened skepticism about the reliability of available biographical data. Moreover, the intellectual shock of the two world wars undermined confidence in the value of an exemplary biography of the founder of the Christian faith. in Rudolf Bultmann's Theolog)/ of the New Testament, published in the years after World War II, Jesus appeared only as a presupposition of New Testament theology. To be sure, even Bultmann himself wrote a book about Jesus, published in English translation under the tide Jesus and the Word (1934). His book, however, did not attempt a biographical reconstruction; it was concerned exclusively with Jesus' eschatological message, which Bultmann presented in an existentialist interpretation.

When the Heidelberg New Testament scholar Günther Bornkamm published his Jesus von Nazareth in 1956, it became the landmark of a new interest in the historical Jesus. the book was immediately successful, was reprinted in as many as eleven new German editions within twenty years (its tenth edition of 1975 was revised by the author), and translated into numerous languages (in addition to English, it was translated into Dutch, Japanese, Danish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish). Soon after its first publication, this new interest in Jesus was hailed and discussed program-

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