The Quest of the Historical Jesus
by Albert Schweitzer

Summarizes all scholarship on the life of Jesus up to 1900 and critically analyzes it from the point of view of "thorough-going eschatology," which is the interpretation of Jesus that emphasizes his belief in his Messiahship and the coming of the Kingdom of God as the source of his actions. It ends with Schweitzer's summary of his own theory. For all the fine writing and scholarship, he failed to convince me that his interpretation is the best. His own summaries of some of the "fictitious" lives of Jesus make those theories more attractive than his own. Conspiracy theories such as in The Passover Plot and some of the early "fictitious" lives seem to fit the text of the gospels and tie them together better than Schweitzer's theory does.

Schweitzer never questions the specialness of Jesus. He takes for granted that Jesus is the son of God. He is unable to conceive of interpreting the life of Jesus objectively to this extent. Nevertheless, this is a work of genius.

Year Read: 1979

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