What were the consequences? The Jesus who stood in the centre of historical events,


who could only be silenced by the personal intervention of Pilate, the Roman governor, became an insignificant itinerant preacher. The acclaimed Messiah, whose followers were driven out of Rome by imperial edict for causing tumult a few years after his death, became an unknown rabbi who avoided Hellenistic cities. A piece of world history became a pale social utopia. The foundation of a world religion dissolved into nothing.


Protestant theology solved the problem by making Jesus into a religious genius who drew all his wisdom out of his own person or to put it in religious language, who was given his gifts by God. Theologians proved to be supporters of the thesis “people make history”, through the concept of genius that originated in the Romantic movement of the early 19th century.


This thesis has long dropped out of fashion in historical studies and has been replaced by more modern methodological concepts.

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