Allison's recent contribution to critical historical Jesus studies rehabilitates the eschatological picture of Jesus, proposed most prominently by Albert Schweitzer in his epochal Quest for the Historical Jesus
. Make no mistake: this is not an evangelical apologetic in the garb of critical scholarship, and those who radically question the presuppositions and purposes of critical scholarship will probably not be edified. But Allison does examine in detail the methodology and conclusions of the Jesus Seminar, and finds them wanting. An important contribution, and a corrective to the sensationalist tone of much of the recent debate.
An Eighth Day View:
Dale Allison's clearly written Jesus of Nazareth will enable people who have followed recent discussions to vindicate and reclaim the central religious signficance of the historical Jesus. Allison makes a creative contribution to Jesus studies in several ways:
-- He offers new suggestions for establishing the authenticity of Jesus' words -- including what he calls "the index of intertextual linkage" -- and for the process of framing a convincing picture of the central thrust and purpose of the activity of Jesus.
-- Referring to fascinating cross-cultural millenarian parallels, he shows that the impetus for the pre-Easter Jesus movement was apocalyptic in nature and that the historical Jesus can best be understood as an eschatological prophet.
-- He presents the first full-length treatment of the question of Jesus and asceticism and shows that Jesus, far from the image suggested by some today, was driven by an apocalyptic asceticism that extended to matters of sex, food, and social relations.