Archive for ‘Historical Jesus’

October 21st, 2013

The Historicity for the Martyrdom of the Apostles

by Max Andrews

The disciples were not expecting the Christ and Messiah to be a spiritual Messiah, rather, they expected the Messiah to be a political Messiah redeeming indentured Israel from Roman captivity and rule. According to church tradition, eleven of the twelve disciples (later apostles) died for their belief in the resurrection of Jesus. What can account for such belief and fortitude? It would be unlikely that the disciples contrived the resurrection as a means of social, spiritual, or a political influence. All eleven died independently from each other and never retracted their belief. There are martyrs today but there would be no reasonable explanation for why the disciples would die for something they knew to be false and never retracted it, independent of each other’s influence, before their deaths. Paul accounted for the disciples’ belief in the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.9-11 and Galatians 2.1-10

January 31st, 2013

Gary Habermas Lectures on the Resurrection of Jesus

by Max Andrews

Last October (2012) Gary Habermas delivered a lecture to the Ratio Christi chapter at Liberty University on the historical data concerning the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The video was professionally captured and you may view the videos in the links below.

October 28th, 2012

Religion Soup: Mike Licona Debates Dale Martin on the Resurrection

by Max Andrews

Recently, Dr. Michael Licona (Houston Baptist University) spent time in Canada debating Yale professor Dr. Dale Martin on questions concerning the resurrection and self-understanding of Jesus. Below are links to the videos.

“Did Jesus Rise Physically From the Dead?”

Dr. Michael Licona and Dr. Dale Martin discuss the question “Did Jesus Physically Rise From the Dead?” The first evening of the 2012 Religion Soup discussion took place Oct 18, 2012 at St. Mary’s University.
www.religionsoup.ca

May 18th, 2012

Dan Wallace Comments on Newly Discovered Manuscripts

by Max Andrews

Wallace: There are seven manuscripts that have been discovered in the last few months (May 2012). They are all papyri from the gospels and Paul’s letters (including Hebrews because that’s how the manuscripts treat them.) These seven manuscripts are all either second century, one probably first century, and two maybe third century… What’s remarkable is there’s a Luke fragment that is probably first half of the second century, which is coequal with the oldest known manuscript, P52, which is John… Keep watching!

May 11th, 2012

An Outline of the Historical Searches for Jesus

by Max Andrews

The First Search for the Historical Jesus (1778-1906)

  • Distinction between Christ of faith and Jesus of History
  • Accepted Gospel stories in general but rationalized or rejected miracle stories and claims to divinity
  • Jesus as moral example
  • Source criticism; Two document theory
  • Ends with claim we can know nothing of historical Jesus

The Period of No Quest for the Historical Jesus (1906-1953)

  • Nothing can be known of historical Jesus and not ultimately important; Living Christ of Faith is what matters
  • Form Criticism
  • Mark Displaced
  • Bultmann: Need to demythologize Gospels and get to kerygma; Authentic existence
    read more »

May 10th, 2012

The Third Search for the Historical Jesus

by Max Andrews

Though there is no set date (considered to be the late 1970s to present day), the third quest for the historical Jesus began as a reaction against the second search. Theological assumptions were controlling historical investigation.  It attempts to do history apart from theological presuppositions, which yielded two results.  First, there were many divergent positions from evangelical scholars to liberal theologians. Second, the third search, in general, is much more open to the supernatural.  Miracles are not ruled out a priori.

There are a few major characteristics unique to the third search. There was an emphasis and concentration on understanding Jesus as a first century Jew–the social and religious climate becomes paramount. A rejection of strict attachment to the “criteria” of the second search, especially the criteria of double dissimilarity. There was a high view of the accuracy of the oral tradition.

May 9th, 2012

The Second Search for the Historical Jesus

by Max Andrews

After the period of no quest ended in 1953 the second, and present, search for the historical Jesus began.  On October 23, 1953 Ernst Käsemann delivered a lecture titled “The Problem of the Historical Jesus.”  Käsemann was critical of the discontinuity of history and faith and that Jesus must be rooted in history to some degree to avoid docetism, which would allow Christ to be formed however the scholar wills.

In 1956 Günther Bornkamm wrote a book titled Jesus of Nazareth and, along the same lines, James M. Robinson wrote A New Quest for the Historical Jesus in 1959.  They argued that faith does not depend on history; rather, a certain amount of “pre-easter” history about the historical Jesus could be known and this was vital to understanding Christian kerygma.

May 8th, 2012

The Search for the Historical Jesus: The Period of No Quest

by Max Andrews

After the first search for the historical Jesus ended in 1906 the next search, or better said, the period of no quest, began and lasted until 1953.  At this point there was little optimism for finding the “historical Jesus.” Karl Barth (1886-1968) was the key figure during this time.  He claimed that the Jesus of history has little to do with theology–the Christ of faith is more important.  Barth ushered in Neo-Orthodoxy–an emphasis on sin, sovereignty, grace, and faith.  This was a de-emphasis on what actually happened.

This led to form criticism: An analysis of the forms in which the narratives of the gospels come down to us. Not literary, but their pre-literary oral forms. The idea was that different kinds of stories have distinctive kinds of forms that effect how they should be interpreted: miracle stories, healing stories, apothegms, etc.

May 7th, 2012

The First Search for the Historical Jesus

by Max Andrews

There are three main reasons why the search for the historical Jesus began (of three searches). The first is the problems raised in the Gospels such as consistency, apparent contradictions, historical accuracy, etc. Then there was the problem posed by the Reformation in completely changing the perspective on the Bible and Jesus. Finally, there was the current worldview of modernity.  This led many to believe that the Gospels do not give an accurate portrayal of the real Jesus, which caused the need to search through all the sources to find the historical Jesus.

The first search was from 1778-1906.  Rationalism and deism became the dominant epistemology and worldviews in the eighteenth century.  In 1778 Hermann Reimarus wrote On the Intention of Jesus and the Disciples and was the first to make the distinction between the Christ of faith and the Jesus of history. A gap began to form between history and faith.

Numerous other fictions “lives” of Jesus were written throughout the late eighteenth and into the nineteenth century.  These writers included K.F. Bardht (1792), K.H. Venturini (1809), and Heinrich Paulus (1828).

April 28th, 2012

The Problem of Multireligious Miracles

by Max Andrews

The claim is that all religions have their miracles, so what makes Christianity’s miracles true and other religions’ false?

  • Not all religious teach miracles and the Jewish-Christian religions are the only traditions that claim to prove its teachings through miracles.
  • In all cases of miracles, no miracles have the historical evidence like the gospel miracles.
  • Christianity’s miracles are religiously significant.  Jesus’ miracles occurred at the climax of his unparalleled life.
  • Religio-historical context distinguishes miracles from physical anomalies.  When a scientific anomaly occurs it is usually assumed that some unknown natural factors are interfering, so that the law is neither violated nor revised.