The Quest of the Historical Jesus A Critical Study of Its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede
Albert Schweitzer, W. Montgomery (Dover: Feb 11, 2005), 416 pages.
This book is a turning point in the history of Jesus studies. Schweitzer demonstrates how previous research was really an (unwitting) attempt by liberal and rationalist theologians to proof-text a Jesus who would embarrass orthodox Protestantism and serve as a figurehead for liberal ("Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man") Christianity. Schweitzer showed how each historical reconstruction of Jesus uncannily matched the beliefs and agenda of the scholar in question. But Schweitzer knew the Christ of orthodoxy was not the historical Jesus either. One could only discover the latter by being willing to find the unexpected, and Schweitzer thought he found a Jesus who was a prophet of the end of the world, who expected to judge the earth as the Son of Man, and who died tragically mistaken. Even so, he still serves as a beacon of spiritual force for the ages. As does Schweitzer's great book! ~ Robert M. Price