Jewish Jesus Research and its Challenge to Christology Today


Historical Jesus research, Jewish or Christian, is marked by the search for origins and authenticity. The various Quests for the Historical Jesus contributed to a crisis of identity within Western Christianity. The result was a move “back to the Jewish roots!” For Jewish scholars it was a means to position Jewry within a dominantly Christian culture. As a consequence, Jews now feel more at ease to relate to Jesus as a Jew. For Walter Homolka the Christian challenge now is to formulate a new Christology: between a Christian exclusivism that denies the universality of God, and a pluralism that endangers the specificity of the Christian understanding of God and the uniqueness of religious traditions, including that of Christianity.
Restricted Access


EUR €93.00USD $112.00

Biographical Note

Rabbi Walter Homolka, PhD (King's College London, 1992), PhD (University of Wales Trinity Saint David, 2015), DHL (HUC-JIR New York 2009), is Professor of Modern Jewish Thought and Interreligious Dialogue at the University of Potsdam, executive director of the School of Jewish Theology and rector of the Abraham Geiger College.

Table of contents

Contents Preface Introduction 1 Historical Jesus Research: A Reception History The Modern Quest of a Historical Jesus as a Quest for His Reception The Development of Reception History as a Tool Reception History: Global Dimensions Reception History as a Secularization of the Interpretation of Scripture Reception Theory in Relation to the Jewish Quest Creating Space: The Emergence of New Hermeneutical and Methodological Paradigms 2 The Jewish Jesus Quest and the Wissenschaft des Judentums The Pre-Enlightenment Jewish Jesus The Emergence of the Wissenschaft des Judentums The Wissenschaft des Judentums and the Historical Jesus The Wissenschaft des Judentums and the Concept of a Personal Messiah The Legacy of the Wissenschaft des Judentums 3 Reclaimed or Reclaiming? Recent Jewish Approaches to Jesus’s Wirkungsgeschichte Jewish Jesus Research: Where to Draw the Line? My Previous Contribution Géza Vermès: Concluding the Classical Era of Jewish Jesus Research? Diversity in the Reception History of the Jewish Jesus The Jewish Jesus in Literature Recent Jewish Approaches to Jesus The Contribution of Archaeology to Historical Jesus Studies 4 Jewish Quests and Christian Problems The Jewish Quest of the Historical Jesus: In Search for Equality and Acceptance The Historical Jesus: Challenges to Jewish-Christian Dialogue The Myth of the Judeo-Christian West Jesus the Jew: Implications for Future Christian Theology Back to the Roots? The Value of Christian Hellenism Jewish Jesus Research: Paving the Way for Common Ground Conclusion: Implications and Future Perspectives Bibliography Index


Scholars and students of both Christian and Jewish Theology, Jewish and Religious Studies, Historians, scholars of postcolonialism, educated laypeople and people engaged in Christian-Jewish dialogue.