Further, the question is whether additional data can be justified, and on what grounds. Other scholars went much further in their critique of those who would severely curtail the search for history in the life of Jesus, which was the dominant trend until at least the middle of this century. Sometimes conclusions seemed more sympathetic to the stance of traditional Christianity, especially in arguing for some of the supernatural elements contained in the Gospels.
Wolfhart Pannenberg headed a group of intellectuals who argued forcefully for the concept of God’s revelation in time-space history.^21 The resurrection of Jesus, in
18 Günther Bornkamm, Jesus of Nazarethtransl. by Irene and Fraser McLuskey with James M. Robinson (New York: Harper and Row, 1960), chapter I.
19 James M. Robinson, A New Quest of the Historical Jesus, Studies in Biblical Theology, First Series, 25 (London: SCM, 1959), pp. 85–92; cf. pp. 9–22.
20 Ibid., pp. 99–100.
21 For the seminal work written by a group of theologians sometimes called the “Pannenberg circle,” see Wolfhart Pannenberg, ed., Revelation as History, transl. by David Granskou (London: Collier-Macmillan, 1968).
particular, was singled out for defense.^22 Jürgen Moltmann championed an eschatological perspective that acknowledged the importance of God’s participation in both past and present history.^23
The Third Quest for the Historical Jesus
It is probably accurate to say that, at the present, there has been a somewhat positive assessment of attempts to understand Jesus in historical terms. Interestingly enough, this attitude often crosses liberal-conservative lines. Although there is no identifiable consensus among current scholars, current trends have led to what some have called the “Third Quest” for the historical Jesus.^24