Scholars began 'discovering' Jesus soon after the Enlightenment, publishing countless 'Lives' of Jesus that sought to harmonize the gospel accounts while minimizing their miraculous and eschatological elements. These movements laid the groundwork for the twentieth-century scholarly quest so brilliantly described in Jesus as a Figure in History
. Powell sketches the major contemporary images of Jesus that have emerged from these studies: social prophet, charismatic Jew, sage, magician, and cynic philosopher. The heart of his book centers on the methods and goals of the now-famous Jesus Seminar and evaluates and contrasts the perspectives of five leading Jesus scholars: John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, E.P. Sanders, John P. Meier, and N.T. Wright. A highly recommended, objective introduction to a controversial movement that will continue to shape the direction of New Testament studies for decades to come.
An Eighth Day View:
Here is the first comprehensive, balanced account of historical Jesus studies. Beginning with brief discussions of the early days of historical research into the person of Jesus and the methods developed by researchers at the time, Mark Allen Powell offers insightful overviews of some of the most important participants in the contemporary Jesus quests.