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Historical Jesus Theories: Geza Vermes

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.

Geza Vermes

Jesus the Jew:  Buy at! Geza Vermes portrays the historical Jesus as a charismatic teacher, healer, and exorcist who believed in the soon-to-be-realized Kingdom of God. Jesus was a Hasid, a Galilean holy man, on analogy with other holy men such as Hanina ben Dosa. Jesus was also a prophet, one who expected decisive action from the God of Israel in the near future. Jesus used the term "son of man" only as a circumlocution for his own person or for people in general. Along with other Galileans, Jesus had little interest in the halakhic matters that consumed the Pharisees; indeed, Jesus flaunted them "in his table-fellowship with publicans and whores" (Jesus and the World of Judaism, p. 11). The conflict between Jesus of Galilee and the Pharisees would "merely have resembled the in-fighting of factions belonging to the same religious body, like that between Karaites and Rabbanites in the Middle Ages, or between the orthodox and progressive branches of Judaism in modern times" (op. cit., pp. 11-12). Like John the Baptist, Jesus was arrested and executed because he was seen to be popular with the people, and this alone justified suspicion of seditious intent.

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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Early Christian Writings is copyright © Peter Kirby <E-Mail>.

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Kirby, Peter. "Historical Jesus Theories." Early Christian Writings. <>.