Perceptions of the relationship between the historical study of Jesus and
Christian theology have swung like a pendulum between two extremes.
In the nineteenth century, there was a widespread assumption that the
historical Jesus mattered significantly; for much of the twentieth century,
the dominant claim has been that the historical Jesus has little or no
theological significance. In recent scholarship, there are tentative steps
toward affirming a 'both-and' position: though Christian faith is to some
extent independent of historical research, it is also true that images of
Jesus do very much affect images of the Christian life.
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