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This paper attempts to understand Jesus in a historical context, further exploring various texts to get a truer understanding of His teachings and personality. First, the paper addresses the limited amount of material on Jesus' life. Then, the paper considers how Jesus was a controversial figure in his time, both among the Romans and Jews. Next, the paper discusses the Gospels, their similarities and differences, as a way to understand Jesus' teachings. Additionally, the paper notes the importance of understanding the historical context in which Jesus lived and taught, that being Second Temple Judaism. The paper concludes by stating that is the duty of those who seek the historical Jesus to put their own personal biases and agendas aside when reviewing the evidence.
From the Paper:"The gospels were an attempt to tell and retell Jesus' story to illuminate various aspects of his ministry. As manifest in the canonical and non-canonical gospels still extant as well as in fragmented form, different individuals found different aspects of Jesus' teachings to be significant, even people who lived during the same era, relatively recently after Jesus' demise. Paul's angry epistles about Christians doing the 'wrong thing' while attempting to follow Jesus indicate that the historical Jesus, in ancient Israel, was a contested figure amongst believers trying to live a Christian life in his name. The greater the distance in time between the authors and the life of the historical Jesus, the more the author's contemporary history affects his or her accounts. In writing about Jesus, the author is also writing about the current era, and the author's own personal, theological and political concerns. The common tendency of authors to assume the name of contemporaries of the figures whose lives they were chronicling, like that of the apostles, further problematizes the issue of authorship for modern readers approaching these texts, who may be inclined to take the claimed authorship..."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Charlesworth, James H. The Historical Jesus: An Essential Guide. Nashville: Abingdon, 2008.
- Horsley. Richard A. Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003.
- Van Voorst, Robert E. Jesus Outside the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000
Cite this Term Paper:
Portrait of the Historical Jesus (2012, May 02) Retrieved February 16, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/portrait-of-the-historical-jesus-150914/
"Portrait of the Historical Jesus" 02 May 2012. Web. 16 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/portrait-of-the-historical-jesus-150914/>