After more than 170 years of modern research on discovering the historical Jesus, fresh insights on the subject are still welcome, especially since the gospel narrative in a post-Christendom culture is in need of extra articulation. How can the church explain the gospel to post-modern ears, not only to the un-churched, but also to the churched-yet-secularized, a Christian segment comprising most of the Atlantic church, even more so in The Netherlands?
Research project: Book on Jesus Christ
Henk Bakker is in the process of finishing a book (in Dutch, yet to be translated) on the first literary witnesses of Jesus, the early reception of these sources, and how they were used and interpreted in modern critical research (from the 19th century on). Of course, the evaluations are not exhaustive, but the highlights and most exemplary names, sources, and thinkers, will be given attention to. The following (brief) impression of the table of contents gives a pre-taste:
- The Temple in Dispute: Ha-maqôm hazèh (‘this place’), ‘That Fox’ (about Herod), Resistance
- A Variety of Jewish Expectations: A New David, A New Moses, A New Elijah, A Priestly Servant, A Priestly Son of Man, A Son of God
- Political Differences: Parties, Paul’s Vocation to a Jewish Party, Comforting Israel, Divergences, Destruction of the Temple, The Bar-Kochba Revolt
- Christ in the Church: A Distinctive Faith, A Martyr’s Faith, The Rule of Faith (regula fidei)
- Christ in the World: Expanding, Border-Crossing, Challenging
- Christ on the Foreground: The Constantinian Change, The Nicean Change
- Modern Research: ‘Leben-Jesu Forschung’, The New Quest, The Third Quest
- Contemporary Issues
- Lived Faith & Jesus: In the Beginning Was the Experience, Christocentric Embodiment
- Jesus Then & Now
The book is challenging, stimulating, and refreshing, not only for Baptists, but for every believer and sceptic (and sceptic believer).