27 Bruce, Documents, pp. 16–18; John A.T. Robinson, Can We Trust, pp. 36–37; Daniel-Rops, Sources, pp. 41–42.
28 Bruce, Documents, p. 16; Robinson, Can We Trust, pp. 37–38.
29 Koester, Introduction, vol. 2, pp. 16–17.
30 Macquarrie, Existentialist Theology, p. 168; Gordon H. Clark, “Bultmann’s Three-Storied Universe” in Christianity Today, ed. by Frank Gaebelein (Westwood: Revell, 1966), pp. 218–219.
Jewish milieu.^31 One serious claim is that his lack of emphasis on the historicity of Jesus qualifies his system as a type of twentieth century gnosticism.^32
Some even believe that Bultmann’s lack of emphasis on the historical Jesus leaves him in the precarious position of having to demythologize Jesus himself in order to be logical.^33 Additionally, an entire host of other historical and textual problems could be raised against these and other critical approaches to the New Testament text.^34
Nonetheless, these four major critiques of Bultmann and others who employ more radical versions of form and redaction criticism are sufficient to show that these methods are unsuccessful in pre-empting an historical approach to Jesus. The lack of an adequate historical basis for Christian faith, the improper dismissal of supernatural claims such as Jesus’ resurrection, historical problems with radical form and redaction criticism, and the reliability of the New Testament texts all argue against such approaches. Many other criticisms could be added to the list, contrary to efforts that minimize the historical facts in the life of Jesus. An Historical Jesus Without Theology or Miracles
A less radical but very popular model for pursuing history in the life of Jesus involves accepting the Gospels as fairly reliable historical records. While the historicity of many aspects of Jesus’ life may be affirmed in this way, it is at the expense of the miraculous and the theological portions of the material, which are usually either ignored or rejected.