Dunn brings into question the methodology and conclusions of various historical Jesus arguments. Jesus is controversial. For two millennia scholars and laity alike have discussed, debated, and fought about the life and teachings of Jesus and their relevance and impact. In this brief book, James Dunn argues that the various 'quests' for the historical Jesus have produced some odd and disparate results because they have started in the wrong place and with the wrong assumptions. Dunn suggests that future investigations of Jesus pay closer attention to the earliest Jesus traditions and what they tell us about the impact Jesus made on his first followers, about the way an oral culture might convey critical information, and about the characteristic qualities of Jesus that are pictured in a wide variety of sources. By challenging some of the basic approaches and presuppositions of Jesus studies, the author calls into question the methodology and the subsequent conclusions of scholars of all stripes.
James D G Dunn (PhD Cambridge) is Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham. He is widely recognized as a creative and provocative scholar, and is a key figure (along with E P Sanders and Tom Wright) in the articulation of the 'new perspective on Paul'. Dunn is the author of numerous books including The Theology of Paul the Apostle (Eerdmans, 1997) and Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making (Eerdmans, 2003).