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Bart Ehrman

The purpose of this web page is to explain and explore some of the theories offered up by contemporary scholars on the historical Jesus and the origins of the Christian religion. Issues include the nature of the historical Jesus, the nature of the early Christian documents, and the origins of the Christian faith in a risen Jesus Christ.

Bart Ehrman

Jesus, Apocalyptic Prophet:  Buy at! Bart Ehrman compares the historical Jesus to the apocalyptic prophets that have appeared throughout history proclaiming the end of the age. Ehrman argues that since John the Baptist was apocalyptic and since Paul was apocalyptic and since the Palestinian Jewish milieu was apocalyptic, it only makes sense that the historical Jesus was apocalyptic too. Ehrman argues that those documents with elements of realized eschatology - the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of John, and the Gospel of Thomas - prove to reflect the softening of apocalyptic expectation at the end of the first century or in the early second century. Ehrman proposes that the teachings ascribed to Jesus make sense as an "interim ethic" that is intended to apply to the short period of under a generation between the time of Jesus and the end of the age. Ehrman also makes sense of the cleansing of the Temple in the context of the eschatological expectations of the historical Jesus. Ehrman believes that the model of Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet is the best lens with which to understand the life of the historical Jesus and the history of the movement that continued his legacy.

Please enjoy exploring the varied Historical Jesus Theories offered by these authors through the links below.

Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ

Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past

Jesus the Hellenistic Hero

Jesus the Revolutionary

Jesus the Wisdom Sage

Jesus the Man of the Spirit

Jesus the Prophet of Social Change

Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet

Jesus the Savior

For more information on the debate over the historical Jesus, visit the Christian Origins web site.

Go to the Chronological List of all Early Christian Writings

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Early Christian Writings is copyright © Peter Kirby <E-Mail>.

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Kirby, Peter. "Historical Jesus Theories." Early Christian Writings. <>.