Methods and models in the third quest of the historical Jesus
In this thesis I examine some of the major contributions to current historical Jesus research, now commonly known as the third quest of the historical Jesus. As most of the participants in the third quest define their work primarily as historiography, in Chapter 11 situate these reconstructions in the landscape of present-day historiography, with special attention to the reaction of the authors in question to the challenge of postmodernism. In view of the methodological diversity of the third quest as well as the lack of consensus about the criteria to be used in the reconstructions or in their evaluation, after a brief survey in Chapter 2 of the history of "criteriology" in life-of-Jesus research, I found It necessary to devise my own list of evaluative criteria in Chapter 3. The general criteria are to do with the overall shape and style of the reconstructions, while the criteria of historical reasoning evaluate them in terms of their presentation as historiography. Finally, a modified version of the "traditional" criteria of the historical-critical method is designed to evaluate the text-related arguments within the reconstructions. In chapter 4 I analyse some selected contributions from the standpoint of the most hotly debated issue within the third quest, eschatology.