By their very nature, historical Jesus studies inevitably focus on the Gospel accounts, canonical and non-canonical alike, in the quest for the real or original Jesus behind them. Scholarly portrayals so generated may vary, but the source material tends to be restricted to Gospel texts, with the other New Testament testimony rendered secondary as a result, and its value limited by either genre or late dating.
The Historical Character of Jesus redresses the balance by focusing specifically on non-Gospel material to see how the other texts of the New Testament contribute to the picture of Jesus. Foregrounding the very diversity of ways Jesus was remembered in texts that are usually background to the Gospels produces markedly different results.
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