E. P. Sanders is the Art and Sciences Professor of Religion at Duke and the author of Paul and Palestinian Judaism, Jesus and Judaism, and Judaism: Practice and Belief. (April 2003)

IN THE REVIEW

Who Was Jesus?

Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts

by John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed
In the study of the historical Jesus two of the most important issues, both addressed by John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan Reed, are Jesus’ surroundings—what first-century Jewish Palestine was like—and his “type”—Was he prophet, magician, ethicist, sage, social reformer, utopian visionary, or some combination of these? Crossan, a former priest …

In Quest of the Historical Jesus

The Changing Faces of Jesus

by Geza Vermes

Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity

by Paula Fredriksen
For almost one hundred years scholars have used the term “the quest of the historical Jesus” to refer to the academic effort to recover what can be known of Jesus of Nazareth, who lived in Jewish Palestine approximately between 4 BCE and 30 CE. The quest itself is more than …