Short Life of Christ

Short Life of Christ

Short Life of Christ

Short Life of Christ

Synopsis

Harrison analyzes the outstanding events and features of Christ's life, combining history, biblical theology, and apologetics in his study of the theologically significant aspects of Christ's life and work.

Excerpt

In our day scholars are no longer attempting to write a fulllength life of Christ that takes account of every incident and every movement involved in the story. There are reasons for their reluctance. One is the vast accumulation of information made available by research, much of it tucked away in the learned journals. To weave it all together would be a difficult and delicate task. Men prefer to write on a single facet of the story where they can hope to blaze a new trail or at least supplement earlier investigation.

Heavily influential also has been the development known as form criticism, which for more than a generation has been the accepted methodology of a considerable number of scholars. The tendency of this approach to the Gospels is to emphasize that the tradition lying back of the Gospel records has been greatly affected by the outlook and situation of the early church, so that the stamp of the church’s life and faith is on the narratives to a degree that makes the objectively historical material, as distinct from what is ecclesiastically motivated, almost impossible to ferret out. Along with this goes the contention that the tradition existed for the most part in rather brief fragments, from which the writers, who were basically editors, put together the various Gospel accounts. Since the links in the narrative are regarded as editorially supplied, no confidence can be placed in the chronological sequence of the narrated events. So the writing of a comprehensive life of Christ seems futile.

Furthermore, it has come to be widely recognized that the Gospels are not biographies, since they leave out much that would be of biographical interest. Rather, they are what the titles indicate, Gospels. To use Mark’s phrase, they are accounts of the beginning of the gospel. There was no intention of providing the necessary ingredients for a “scientific” history of Jesus of Nazareth.

More recently the conviction is gaining ground that the units . . .

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