Quest for the Historical Jesus

Essay by Jordy9110College, UndergraduateA+, April 2013

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Quest for the Historical Jesus

The quest for the historical Jesus began with the Age of Reason also referred to as the European Enlightenment. The Age of Reason refers to the period in European, British and American history in which the rationalist philosophies of Rene Descartes, Gottfried Leibnitz, Benedict de Spinoza, and Immanuel Kant were major influences in the universities and among the highly educated and ruling classes of Europe, Britain, and the United States. Each of these philosophers believed in God but their primary emphasis was on human reason.�

The quest was divided into four separate parts: the first quest, the period of no quest, the new quest, and the third quest. Each part plays a very specific role in how Jesus is viewed today. In these quests, the people are searching to know the logic and reason behind some of the things that are written in the bible.

The people were beginning to become skeptical of the supposed 'first-hand accounts' of the events that happened in Jesus' time.

The first quest began in the early 1700's and ended in the late 1900's, although some argue that the gospels are the beginning of the first quest. The quest can be regarded as beginning in 1778 when a German scholar named H. S. Reimarus had one of his texts published. He waiting until his death to have it published because he was scared of the repercussions that might happen as a result of the text. He argues that there is a difference between the real Jesus and how he is portrayed in the Gospels. He believed that this difference existed because the disciples wrote their own views about Jesus, and felt that Jesus reaffirmed Judaism and had no intention of starting a new religion or doing away with the...