Jens Schröter on the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith

Jens Schröter on the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith May 10, 2021

It has been a while since anyone has seriously ventured into some historical Jesus research, it seems to have lost its buzz since the 90’s and 00’s. That said, I do have a long term project on this bubbling away behind the scenes. So I was naturally delighted to see Jens Schröter touch upon historical Jesus studies in a recent article in Early Christianity where he offered a sensible summary of the relationship between the historical Jesus and Christian dogma:

[R]esearch into the historical Jesus does provide a basis not for all elements of Christian faith, but rather for its historical origins as well as for essential aspects of its shape and ethos. From a hermeneutical and epistemological perspective, the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith should not, therefore, be played off against one another, nor should they be regarded as two separate, unrelated views of Jesus. Instead, the quest for the historical Jesus should be regarded as a hermeneutical enterprise of substantial importance for Christian theology and faith. Research into the historical figure of Jesus does not lead us to a unified, unambiguous portrait of the man. It does, however, offer historical-critical depictions of Jesus that can serve as a historical orientation of Christianity in its various cultural circumstances.

Schröter, Jens. 2020. “The Quest for the Historical Jesus: Current Debates and Prospects,” Early Christianity 11: 283-96.

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