Request for comments …, my cover letter (continued 4)
I therefore plead for the separation of Jesus research and faith in Christ.
The patronizing of historical research on early Christianity by the Church should cease, as should the definition of today’s Christian identity by the accidental and repeatedly revising results of historical Jesus research.
This is connected with a second point: In the maintenance and updating of the Christian tradition, the churches are referred to the writings which the early church recognized as authoritative, as canonical. Historians do not know this restriction.
Theological scholarship has therefore today intensified and rightly turned to the non-Canonian early Christian texts and is examining their significance for the Christian beginnings. However, theology has allowed only such texts as sources that do not contradict the Christian confession.