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Implications and Prospects of Jewish Jesus Research

A Review Essay

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author: Bruce Chilton1
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Consideration of a recent monograph by Walter Homolka invites evaluation of Jesus’ Judaic identity, as well as the hermeneutical issues implicit in approaches to Jesus from the perspective of Judaism and especially by Jewish practitioners. Issues of historiography and Christology naturally emerge from those reflections. Homolka’s application of postcolonial theory is assessed, as well as his linkage between Jewish reclamation and “the Third Quest of the historical Jesus.” The work of David Flusser and “the Jerusalem School” takes up attention in relation to Homolka’s argument. Progress occasioned by interaction with R. G. Collingwood’s view of history is considered, using the term “rabbi” as a lens of analysis. Homolka’s book closes with an argument for factoring Trinitarian perspectives within historical work. The essay concludes with a cautionary observation that claims of Jesus’ divine nature, as well as assertions of his Resurrection, are eschatological and transcendent evaluations, and so not strictly historical.

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