This book's title conveys its general premise, that is, that the quest for the historical Jesus has always been closely related to the Christian search for God. The author says that this is both good and necessary, provided that one properly understands the relationship between history and theology ("the Jesus of history" and "the Christ of faith") and does not confuse the two. An opening chapter explains the history of the quest for the historical Jesus and how it has always been related to the search for God. It also proposes a scheme for understanding the relationship between history and theology. The remaining chapters focus on various aspects of Jesus' life and teachings, related in large measure to the work of the Jesus Seminar. Patterson also develops a theology that might properly be called a "Jesus theology," and it is here that his input to the discussions of and about Jesus makes its most distinctive contribution. The accessible style of writing in the book makes it useful for lay study groups. It is also suitable for college and seminary classrooms as a beginning book on the historical Jesus. Stephen J. Patterson is Associate Professor of New Testament at Eden Theological Seminary and author of The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus.
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