Original Research

Does the historical Jesus matter?

Marcus J. Borg
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 51, No 4 | a1453 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v51i4.1453 | © 1995 Marcus J. Borg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 1995 | Published: 11 December 1995

About the author(s)

Marcus J. Borg, Oregon State University Visiting Professor: University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Perceptions of the relationship between the historical study of Jesus and Christian theology have swung like a pendulum between two extremes. In the nineteenth century, there was a widespread assumption that the historical Jesus mattered significantly; for much of the twentieth century, the dominant claim has been that the historical Jesus has little or no theological significance. In recent scholarship, there are tentative steps toward affirming a 'both-and' position: though Christian faith is to some extent independent of historical research, it is also true that images of Jesus do very much affect images of the Christian life.


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