The quest of the historical Jesus

by Albert Schweitzer.

I have come to the end of this book. It was a great read. In his last chapter he writes

There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the Life of Jesus.

The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the messiah, who preached the ethic of the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give his work its final consecration never had any existence. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism and clothed by modern theology in an historical garb.

I am yet to read Bert Erhman’s book where he argues for a historical Jesus. I hope I will. I am interested in knowing his Jesus, how he clothes him and makes him real to walk in Jerusalem and beyond that how he has gotten people to believe his story.

After documenting in a thorough way the impossibility of a historical Jesus, he has words of hope for the believer. He writes

But the truth is, it is not Jesus as historically known, but Jesus as spiritually arisen within men, who is significant for our time and can help it. Not the historical Jesus, but the spirit which goes forth from him and in the spirits of men strives for new influence and rule, is that which overcomes the world.

As for me, it is enough to that there is no historical Jesus, as for his spirit, that is for believers.

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