Jesus as his Friends Remembered Him

A Review of Dale Allison’s Constructing Jesus

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Rafael Rodríguez Professor of New Testament, Johnson University,

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Despite considerable variation in its details, historical Jesus scholarship has largely depended on refining and employing the criteria of authenticity in order to differentiate authentic from secondary material in the Jesus tradition. Dale Allison has expressed doubts concerning the criteria and their usefulness for producing knowledge of the historical figure of Jesus. His recent volume, Constructing Jesus, sets out to explore a different route for discussing the historical Jesus, one that accounts for recent psychological and sociological discussions of memory. This essay briefly describes the new shape of historical Jesus scholarship and then summarizes Allison’s central arguments and asks some questions raised by those arguments.

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