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 the second volume, Meier examines "mentor, message, and miracles." Meier argues strongly for the baptism of Jesus by John. Meier also argues that the historical Jesus, like the historical John, preached the Kingdom with a future sense, not just a present sense. "Jesus not only presented himself as the eschatological prophet of the coming kingdom of God, not only presented himself as the Elijah-like miracle-worker who made the future kingdom already effective and palpable to his followers, but at the same time presented hmself as a teacher who could tell Israelites how to observe the Law of Moses - indeed, who could even tell Israelites what they should or should not observe in the Law." (p. 1046) Meier states that an Elijah-like miracle-working eschatological prophet is not so readily relevant to us today as a domesticated "kindhearted rabbi who preached gentleness and love" (p. 1045). Yet, Meier says, the historical Jesus was such a prophet.
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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