Original Research

Wanted – a new approach to the life of Jesus

D. Seccombe
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 33, No 4 | a642 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v33i4.642 | © 1999 D. Seccombe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 August 1999 | Published: 17 August 1999

About the author(s)

D. Seccombe, George Whitefield College, Muizenberg & School for Biblical Studies & Bible Languages, PU vir CHO, South Africa

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In 2 Corinthians 3-4 Paul is concerned that post-Easter generations be able to behold the “face” of Jesus. This indicates concern that the story of Jesus be heard. The importance of “giving Jesus a face” is considered from the viewpoint of a pastor. However, the synoptic gospels are not much used in churches today, because of loss of confidence in our ability to know much about the life of Jesus. This is understandable, given Life of Jesus research over the past two centuries. The last 25 years, however, have seen tentative attempts at critical Lives, employing a “Cartesian” approach, doubting everything, seeing what can be proven to be dominical, and constructing a Life on this basis. There is value in this for apologetics, but such Lives cannot compete with the gospels in giving us “the face of Jesus”. Nevertheless, Life writing must go on, if only to counter the new wave of Lives, which purport to be historical, but are based on such a selective reading of the gospels, that they are tendentious misrepresentations. A new “canonically-based” approach to the life of Jesus is proposed and described.


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