Bible Review 8:3, June 1992

Bible Books

Jesus of History, Not the Christ of Faith

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus

John P. Meier (New York: Doubleday, 1991) 484 pp., $25.00

Suppose that a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew and an agnostic—each a well-trained historian of Christian origins—were locked up together to produce a consensus document about the historical Jesus. What might they come up with?

With that intriguing suggestion, John P. Meier, professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association, begins his account of what such an “unpapal conclave” might produce: a “limited consensus statement” about the historical Jesus, not determined by the beliefs of particular religious groups and open to debate by believer and unbeliever alike.

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