The Fourth Quest for the Historical Jesus

In a new essay at Bible and Interpretation Paul Anderson relates how he was asked

What’s the significance of drawing the Gospel of John into Jesus studies? Is it simply a matter of imagining that Jesus took several trips to Jerusalem instead of one, or might it lead to something really significant in terms of how we understand the Jesus of history?

And he begins to answer. Enjoy!

[I’ve thought for a long time that John deserves more attention in the Quests than he has gotten. Anderson et als work is exciting for that reason alone].

8 thoughts on “The Fourth Quest for the Historical Jesus

  1. irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert 21 Jul 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I have been talking and pointing to John A.T. Robinson’s works for years. Note his book: The Priority of John!


  2. steph 21 Jul 2010 at 1:17 pm

    As I look to the sky and listen to those delphic whispers in the wind, I hear a response being scratched to this piece, not far east. I look forward to reading it soon…

    Robert dear, I’m not sure if you have read the mistaken Robinson, but perhaps next you might like to read ‘Is John’s Gospel True?’ by Maurice Casey.


  3. irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert 21 Jul 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Steph darl’in,

    Yes, I have read almost everything by old Robinson (RIP). And I would love to read your dear Casey’s book on John! Is it out yet? Did I miss it?

    BTW, you might like Robinson’s book: The Human Face of God, his work on Christology. I loved it! Though of course I don’t agree with all of it. “The mystery of “Christos” is the clue to the profoundest reality of how things are or it is nothing.” (page 23)

    Irish kisses lov,


  4. steph 21 Jul 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Tut tut my darling, Routledge, 1996.

    I have his Human Face too – almost everything he wrote. He writes very prettily too. 🙂

    Kiss kiss both cheeks and a peck on the pretty nose too.


  5. […] Jim West, Darrel Pursiful, Ari, and James McGrath have already commented on it but if you’d like an additional introduction to Anderson’s thesis please consult JohnDave’s post here. Likewise, it is my hopes that JohnDave may answer some questions you have about this project since he is involved directly so feel free to leave some comments. On a side note I am with Jim West on this that I think it about time this subject is revisited and especially because of the things that I hear from JohnDave that I find very interesting. […]


  6. […] Paul Alexander explains why the Gospel of John needs to be an equal partner with the Synoptics in constructing our understanding of the historical Jesus and the impact this would have on standard methodological principles. (HT Jim West) […]


  7. irishanglican ~ Fr. Robert 22 Jul 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Steph dear,

    I looked at the book on Amazon, and the Table of Contents. And, yes I remember reading Casey’s book years back. I had forgotten, sorry. I should read it again perhaps? But, I am with both Robinson and Zahn on the whole early dating of the NT. 70 AD is the key, besides the literacy of the NT Text itself. Remember, I am “presuppostional” by position of/on the Holy Scripture!

    So how goes your Ph.D.?


  8. steph 22 Jul 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Yes, honeybunch, read it again, and also his ‘From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God’. Also James Crossley, The Date of Mark, which confirmed a couple of suspicions I had had about the gospel, and dates Mark in the 40s. How’s your Aramaic? I think Matthew was pre war also for a few reasons and also he shows no sign of knowing how the war happened like Luke does. James has written more recently on John – not sure if he’s published it yet – I’ve read one for a book coming out and I forget what it is called and I read another recently too.

    Tankoo feraskin, I am now officially unemployed. I completed a successful ‘oral’ assessment with Richard Bell on Tuesday (mind you we talked about everything from nuclear phsyics (He was a nuclear physicist before a theologian!) to opera and cellos and goodness remembers much else … but mainly my work of course! Two hours slips by fast during conversation. I’m now officially FREEEEEEE to complete the write up wherever I please. Irish kisses in the wind… mwah! And mwah and well wishes to your beautiful wife.


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