Date of Award

Summer 1997

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hinze, Bradford

Second Advisor

Dabney, D. L.

Third Advisor

Del Colle, Ralph


This project grew out of my long standing interest in nineteenth century theological hermeneutics. When I became acquainted with Martin Kahler's The So-called Historical Jesus and the Historic Biblical Christ, I was struck by how relevant Kahler's criticisms were to contemporary life of Jesus research. In both the later part of the nineteenth and the close of the twentieth centuries historical treatments of the person of Jesus appear to be characterized by covert theological agendas which belie the stated purposes of the questers; namely, to present the figure of Jesus exclusively by means of critical history. As originally conceived, this dissertation was to examine current research on the historical Jesus in light of Kahler's critiques. I was, however, soon faced with a problem. How is it possible to bring a theological critique to what is ostensibly a historical issue? In other words, how is a theological assessment of contemporary Jesus research to proceed without it being a case of comparing apples with oranges? I realized that I would have to identify a common ground between the fields of theology and history if a theological evaluation was to be successful and, moreover, that such a point of contact was not immediately available in the works of Kahler...



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