The Study of the Historical Jesus


The research group is devoted to study of the historical Jesus. In 2012-2014, the group ran a three-year programme on Jesus and the Scriptures, while last year was dedicated to Jesus and the politics of his day. However, the group is interested in any areas relating to the study of the historical Jesus.


Cristiana Facchini, Università di Bologna

Fernando Bermejo Rubio, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

Past Chairs

Tobias Hägerland, Lund University, Sweden (


T. Holmén (ed.), Jesus from Judaism to Christianity: Continuum Approaches to the Historical Jesus (LNTS, 352; London: T&T Clark International, 2007). Papers presented at the meeting in Dresden (2005).

T. Holmén (ed.), Jesus in Continuum (WUNT I, 289; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012). Papers presented at the meetings in Budapest (2006) and Vienna (2007).

T. Hägerland (ed.), Jesus and the Scriptures (forthcoming). Papers presented at the meetings in Amsterdam (2012), Leipzig (2013) and Vienna (2014).


Berlin 2017 

Call for Papers
For some decades, the history of Jesus research has been often described through the so-called “three-quests” model, with its threefold (or fourfold) division in “Old Quest”, (“No Quest”), “New Quest”, and “Third Quest”. This historiographical model, however, has been subjected, at the beginning of this century, to devastating criticisms, according to which its assertions and assumptions are built on arbitrary grounds and are refuted by literary evidence and sound reasoning, thereby unveiling its incapacity of convincingly explaining the history of the research; some of these criticisms have even argued that this historiographical construct could serve theological interests. And it is generally affirmed that the research on the historical Jesus begins with H. S. Reimarus, but this contention has also been challenged by several scholars, with different approaches and backgrounds, who have compellingly pointed out that the attempt to reconstruct an image of Jesus independently of the theological interpretations of the churches is already attested much earlier. Therefore, there is a growing awareness in the field that one of our pressing tasks is the design of a new and more accurate interpretive paradigm of the history of this discipline.

This year we will accordingly consider papers aimed at rethinking in an innovative and critical way the history of Jesus research. Some possible topics follow: Which authors previously to Reimarus (and English Deists) should be taken into account in this history, and why? When and in which contexts was a historical research of Jesus born? Should a purely diachronic approach in phases be complemented (or rather replaced) by another approach? Is it possible to write a history of Jesus research without ideological agendas lurking beneath the surface?

Cordoba 2015

‘Revolution, Peace and Violence: Rethinking Jesus and the Politics of His Day’ and a general session. Papers were presented by Pieter Botha, Thomas Heilke, Christos Theodorou, Jaroslav Broz, and Fernando Bermejo Rubio.

Vienna 2014
'Jesus and the Psalms and Wisdom'. Papers were presented by Ville Auvinen, Jennifer Nyström and Ben Witherington.

Leipzig 2013
'Jesus and the Prophets'. Papers were presented by Fernando Bermejo Rubio, Jonathan Blanke and Tobias Hägerland.

Amsterdam 2012
'Jesus and the Historical Books'. Papers were presented by Edwin Broadhead, William Loader, Mary Marshall, Jan Roskovec, Kim Huat Tan and Cecilia Wassén.


Earlier meetings were held in Dresden (2005), Budapest (2006), Vienna (2007) and Thessaloniki (2011).



The Annual Conference 2021
takes place 3-6 August
in Wuppertal. Read more.