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.
However, in his latest books, Wells allows that such a complex of tradition as we have in the synoptic gospels could not have developed so quickly (by the end of the first century) without some historical basis; and so some elements ascribed there to the life of Jesus presumably derive ultimately from the life of a first century Galilean preacher. The essential point, as Wells sees it, is that this personage is not to be identified with the dying and rising Christ of the Pauline and other early documents, and that the two have quite separate origins. The Jesus of the earliest Christians did not, on this view, preach and work miracles (or what were taken for such) in Galilee, and was not crucified by Pilate in Jerusalem.
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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