I  5   The sources: Josephus and the Bible

The currently dominant narrative about the possibility of writing a history of Jesus states that the Gospels and other New Testament texts are the only written reports

Aswan, felucca
Aswan, felucca

about Jesus and the early Christians. These texts are not written from the point of view of a neutral observer, but from that of Christian believers. Therefore it is not possible to write a neutral biography about Jesus as you could about Caesar, for example, due to the special nature of the Christian sources.

This basic narrative originates in a lecture given by the theologian Martin Kähler in Wuppertal in 1892, entitled The so-called historical Jesus and the historical, biblical Christ. Even today, Martin Kähler’s master narrative is still presented as being the only possible option.

I present an alternative to this narrative: the possibility of writing a history of Jesus based on a rational approach and using all existing sources, not simply as a further instalment in the old tradition.

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