Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued)
My theses may take some getting used to, so here are some preliminary remarks:
The failure of research into the life of Jesus, pluralism, arbitrariness and the lack of consensus in the published images of Jesus are widely deplored. It is not only Martin Kähler, Luke Johnson and Klaus Wengst who criticize historical Jesus research and demand the return to the biblical Christ of faith.
The representatives of the Life Jesus research up to the 3rd Quest, from Albert Schweitzer to John D. Crossan also see the results critically. The attempt to combine historical reason and Christian faith in Jesus research to promote faith must be regarded as failed.
But what failed? The representatives of Jesus research say, as do their critics, that Jesus behind the early Christian texts cannot be recognized by historical means. That is why we are referred to the Christ of the New Testament. The statement is ambiguous:
Is 1. the failure due to the fact that the historical Jesus is not recognizable, for example because of the sources?
Or is 2. the failure due to the fact that faith and reason are not compatible with each other and their interaction does not lead to meaningful results?
Can reason prepare the ground for faith, as Joseph Ratzinger/ Benedict XVI writes in his congenial book of Jesus? Or are reason and faith two pairs of shoes that have nothing to do with each other, as the reformers taught in contrast to medieval scholasticism?