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The Future of Criteria in Historical Jesus Research

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
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Recent discussions of method in historical Jesus research have called into question the use of criteria for evaluating the authenticity of Gospel material. The present article lays out the reasons why a number of scholars call for an abandonment of the so-called criteria approach and then criticizes the allegation that this approach is genetically and logically dependent on form criticism. By analysis of how the question of authenticity is handled with regard to Jesus’ baptism, his action in the temple and his crucifixion, it is then argued that criteria are necessary for assessing the historicity of major events in the life of Jesus. Finally, three suggestions as to how the future use of authenticity criteria may take into account the recent challenges are made.

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