Bible Review 12:2, April 1996

Why Christians Must Search for the Historical Jesus

By John Dominic Crossan

Luke Timothy Johnson’s recent article in BR and the book on which it is based raise a question of profound importance for Christian faith and theology. The question is immediately clear from their titles. The book is called The Real Jesus and subtitled The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels.1 The article is called “The Search for (the Wrong) Jesus.”2 It is those single words “misguided” and “wrong” that I intend to debate in this article and to oppose with an equally single word, “necessary.”

My counter-proposal is that historical Jesus research is theologically necessary for Christianity or, at least, for Catholic as distinct from Gnostic Christianity.

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