Original Research

Historicity and theology, and the quest for historical Jesus1

P. A. Geyser
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 55, No 4 | a1636 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v55i4.1636 | © 1999 P. A. Geyser | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 1999 | Published: 13 December 1999

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P. A. Geyser, Department of Biblical Studies (Sec A), University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The issue of history and historicity is reviewed in this article. The efforts of New Historicism is brought to bear on this question in an effort to find a way out of the impasse created by the modernist demand for objectivity and the postmodern resignation to radical relativism. The possibility of historiography is explored in conjunction with the pragmatic approach and leads to the conclusion that a kind of historical knowledge is attainable which can be described as useful even if not perfect. The author concurs with Crossan and his working definition of history as the past reconstructed interactively by the present through argued evidence in public discourse. The intersubjective nature of any historical enterprise leads the author to the conclusion that the search for the historical Jesus can only be done in the dialectical approach of a both ... and: both the historical Jesus and the kerygmatic Christ

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