Present-day historical Jesus studies are the epistemological product of what has become known as the New Historicism. The aim of the article is to emphasize two aspects of the New Historicism as epistemological approach. The one aspect focuses on the profitability of this endeavour and the other on the historical nature of the New Historicism. As far as profitability is concerned, the social standing and identity of the researcher are emphasized. Among other things, the social interests of the researcher are taken into account. Concerning the historical nature of this kind of research, a distinction is drawn between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. The aim of the article is to gain clarity on the relationship between the Jesus of history (pre-Easter) and the Jesus of faith (post-Easter). J D Crossan's exposition of the reasons for Jesus studies is followed. He distinguishes three reasons: historical, ethical and theological.
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