Can history and theology be reconciled? The New Testament contains the story
of a man, Jesus; it is a primary historical source for our knowledge of his
life, death and alleged resurrection. But it also has been the basis for 2,000
years of theological speculation and doctrinal formation. As Neufeld puts it,
"theology has had to contend with history," and "history has had to contend
with theology." There are sources outside the Bible that inform us about the
context in which Jesus was born and into which his movement blossomed into
Christianity. The author, associate professor of religious studies at Conrad
Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, mines the
depths of New Testament writings and other contemporary sources, looking to
effect this reconciliation and to present Jesus as a real person in real
history. His subject is complex, but he succeeds nicely in simplifying terms
and explaining difficult ideas in understandable language. Describing himself
as both a "believer and a scholar," Neufeld finds the real Jesus in both
history and theology. Readers at all levels will enjoy this fine volume.
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