Who was the “real Jesus”? Given the historical unreliability of the gospels and other ancient sources, can this question ever be answered? Is it possible that a historical Jesus never existed?
These questions and more are addressed in this collection of expert essays based on the latest research in New Testament scholarship. All of the authors are participants in the Jesus Project, a new investigation into the origins of Christianity directed by R. Joseph Hoffmann under the auspices of the Council for the Scientific Examination of Religion at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY. Dr. Hoffmann describes the project as a beneficiary of its history, building on the work of prior inquiry and acknowledging important advances in the reconstruction of Christian origins in the last two centuries. It is “new” in advocating a faith-free approach to the sources and greater attention to method than previous inquiries.
The scholars represented in this volume are among the finest in the world. Included are not only experts in New Testament studies but also specialists in archeology, legal history, intertestamental Judaism, educational studies, Near Eastern studies, philosophy, and classics.
The first fruits of this scholarly collaboration are gathered together in this excellent anthology, which will be a welcome addition to the libraries of anyone with an interest in Christian origins.