At the invitation of the editors, this article interacts with Stan Porter and Hughson Ong’s response to one of my previous articles that appeared in this journal. The original article critiqued the validity of three newer approaches now being applied to historical Jesus research. I am very grateful to Porter and Ong for their discussion and constructive response to that article. In large part, in this article I seek to more fully explain the reasons for the positions stated in the original article, or to clarify points where Porter and Ong have misunderstood my comments or attributed to me positions I do not hold. However, this article extends the earlier discussion by seeking to clarify the nature of the central concerns of historical Jesus research. I am delighted to have received such a detailed response that engages with my earlier work, and I thank Porter and Ong for engaging in this important conversation.