Original Research

Methods and models in the quest for the historical Jesus: Historical criticism and/or social scientific criticism

Andries van Aarde
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 58, No 2 | a562 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v58i2.562 | © 2002 Andries van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 October 2002 | Published: 17 December 2002

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Andries van Aarde, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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In this article a distinction is made between social scientific criticism and historiography. Historiography describes what is unrepeatable, specific and particular. Social scientific criticism is to some extent a phenomenological approach. On a high level of abstraction, it focuses on ideal types. The historiographical quest for Jesus is about the plausibility of a continuity or a discontinuity existing between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. This approach has been broadened by the interdisciplinary application of the results of archaeological, sociohistorical, and cultural anthropological studies of the world of the historical  Jesus. But it does not mean that historical-critical research as such is now dismissed. The aim of the article is to argue that social scientific criticism can complement a historical-critical analysis.


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