Fortress Press

The Quest of the Historical Jesus: The First Complete Edition

The Quest of the Historical Jesus

The First Complete Edition

Albert Schweitzer (Author), John Bowden (Editor)


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A monument in historical Jesus studies

In this revised translation and retrieval of the full text of the revised German edition, Schweitzer describes and critiques eighteenth and nineteenth century attempts at retrieving the "Jesus of history" and stands at the crossroads of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to bring closure to the former, and to open the latter for New Testament scholarship. Schweitzer saw the problems of historiography, theology, and politics in the ways the issues were formulated — and the answers proposed — and refocused attention on Jesus' "eschatology" in a way abandoned by his predecessors. Issues of the messianic secret, the nature of the kingdom of God, and Jesus' mission are addressed.

Because of the new invigorated study of Jesus in his first-century context, informed readers will desire Schweitzer as a reference point for the mistakes of the past and the possibilitites of new directions.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800632885
  • Dimensions 6.76 x 9.25
  • Pages 608
  • Publication Date June 22, 2001


"What we have here is a new edition based on the ninth German edition (1984). ... Both the introduction and the postscript reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of Schweitzer's text — 'beyond question the greatest twentieth-century book on Jesus' according to [editor] Bowden (p. vii) — and on where it stands in relation to subsequent Jesus research. In addition, Schweitzer's three prefaces (to the first, second, and sixth edtions) are included. ...

Given the amount currently being published about the historical Jesus — as witnessed by the consistent stream of reviews and review articles in RRT — it is highly appropriate that a more accurate English rendition of this classic text is now easily available."

Reviews in Religion and Theology 8 (2001)

Table of Contents

An Appreciation of Albert Schweitzer
Editor's Note
Foreword to the Complete Edition

Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the Sixth Edition

The Quest of the Historical Jesus
  1. The Problem
  2. Hermann Samuel Reimarus
  3. The Lives of Jesus of Earlier Rationalism
  4. The Earliest Imaginative Lives of Jesus
  5. Fully Developed Rationalism — Paulus
  6. The Last Phase of Rationalism — Hase and Schleiermacher
  7. David Friedrich Strauss — The Man and his Fate
  8. Strauss's First 'Life of Jesus'
  9. Strauss's Opponents and Supporters
  10. The Markan Hypothesis
  11. Bruno Bauer
  12. Futher Imaginative Lives of Jesus
  13. Renan
  14. The 'Liberal' Lives of Jesus
  15. The Eschatological Question
  16. Against Eschatology
  17. Aramaic, Rabbinic, Buddhist
  18. The Quest of the Historical Jesus at the End of the Nineteenth Century
  19. The Criticism of the Modern Historical View by Wrede and Thoroughgoing Eschatology
  20. Descrption and Criticism of Wrede's Hypothesis
  21. The Solution of Thoroughgoing Eschatology
  22. The Most Recent Disputing of the Historicity of Jesus
  23. The Debate about the Historicity of Jesus
  24. 1907 to 1912
  25. Conclusion

Index of Names