By David Friedrich Strauss
Translated by George Eliot
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:May 2011
Original Publication Year:1846
Subjects: Biblical studies - New testament , History of philosophy
The German theologian David Friedrich Strauss (1808–1874) published his highly controversial The Life of Jesus in three volumes between 1835 and 1836. This translation, by George Eliot, is based on the fourth German edition (1840). In this work Strauss applied strict historical method to the New Testament gospel narratives and caused scandal across the Protestant world by concluding that all miraculous elements were mythical and ahistorical. Volume 3 applies modern historical criticism to 'de-mythologize' the narratives of the transfiguration, Jesus' final journey into Jerusalem, the passion, the death, and the resurrection; and investigates the historicity of Jesus' enemies. The volume concludes with an essay entitled 'The Dogmatic Import of the Life of Jesus'. This is a key text of nineteenth-century theology that pioneered the application of historical and scientific methods to the study of religious texts. It is essential reading for any student of the New Testament.