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The Historical Christ and the Jesus of FaithThe Incarnational Narrative as History$
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C. Stephen Evans

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019826397X.001.0001

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The Incarnational Narrative and the Problem of Its Historicity

The Incarnational Narrative and the Problem of Its Historicity

(p.1) 1 The Incarnational Narrative and the Problem of Its Historicity
The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith

C. Stephen Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Though there are many historical narratives in the Bible that are significant for Christians, orthodox Christian faith has traditionally understood itself as rooted supremely in the life, death and resurrection of a historical person, Jesus of Nazareth, and it has seemed to many Christians that the Christian faith could not survive if Jesus did not live, die and rise from the dead. This story of Jesus the author calls ‘the incarnational narrative’ – the story of Jesus of Nazareth taken from the New Testament as a whole, as that story has traditionally been told by the Christian Church. Thus understood it is not a story about a mere human being, but an account of Jesus as the Son of God, a unique, divine person. The book examines the truth of this incarnational narrative, and this introductory chapter introduces the concept, discusses why the historicity of the narrative is important, why belief in the narrative has become difficult (in particular the challenge posed to its historicity posed by Enlightenment epistemology and metaphysics), and the post-modern intellectual situation – the collapse of the metaphysical and epistemological assumptions of the Enlightenment. Finally the chapter gives an outline of the structure of the book.

Keywords:   belief, Enlightenment, epistemology, historicity, incarnational narrative, Jesus, metaphysics, New Testament, post-modernism, truth

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