Faith Explorers Reviews

Who on EARTH was JESUS – The modern quest for the Jesus of history.

Written by David Boulton 2008

A century after Albert Schweitzer’s Quest of the Historical Jesus modern historians with new techniques are back on the trail.  In the most comprehensive survey yet published, David Boulton presents an engrossing account of the debate between contemporary scholars on what we can know about the human Jesus of history, before he became the divine Christ of faith.

Lloyd Geering comments on the book as follows:

A unique treasure.  A fair objective and exhaustive summary of historical Jesus discoveries….. Scholarly, yet lucidly written for non academic readers… a masterly achievement.


This fascinating book has certainly given me new understanding of the documents written in the early Christian era, and of the ones which did not get included in the canon, or have only very recently been discovered and translated.  The breadth of current historical research on this topic which he has summarised is truly amazing.

Two examples:

Boulton draws from all the studies to get some degree of consensus on the two questions “What did Jesus really say?”  and “What did Jesus really do?” to determine the unique sayings and actions of Jesus.

He also analyses the issue of the Apocalypse, and the contradictory sayings of  kingdom-among-you and kingdom-come, as well as relating these to the beliefs of other cultures and religions of that time and also those which had been an earlier influence on the Jewish community.

In summary, I am very glad to have read this book and I feel that it has broadened by understanding on a whole range of topics.

John M