The purpose of this web page is to explain and explore some of the theories offered up by contemporary scholars on the historical Jesus and the origins of the Christian religion. Issues include the nature of the historical Jesus, the nature of the early Christian documents, and the origins of the Christian faith in a risen Jesus Christ.
In addition to arguing that the earliest Christians believed their Jesus to have lived in the past (the time of the Teacher of Righteousness depicted in the Dead Sea Scrolls), Ellegård argues for a redating of several Christian documents. Ellegård argues that 1 Clement, the Pastor of Hermas, the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Letter to the Hebrews, and the Revelation of John were contemporary to Paul. Ellegård argues that Ignatius (c. 110 CE) represents a halfway point between Paul and the Gospels, which were written well into the second century. Ellegård concludes that the story of Jesus of Nazareth, crucified by Pilate, was a fictional construction.
Please enjoy exploring the varied Historical Jesus Theories offered by these authors through the links below.
Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ
Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past
Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
Jesus the Revolutionary
Jesus the Wisdom Sage
Jesus the Man of the Spirit
Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
Jesus the Savior
For more information on the debate over the historical Jesus, visit the Christian Origins web site.
Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings
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