Last night Dr. Carl Braaten spoke about the long debate concerning the search for the historical Jesus. Wikipedia offers an overview of this research.
Dr. Braaten’s own research has indicated that such a quest is like chasing a ghost. In the end, these “scientists” have simply created pictures of Jesus in their own image. None of these, however, can be scientifically proven.
Instead of heading this direction, he encouraged us to focus on the “historic biblical Christ,” the one who rose from the dead and is witnessed to in the Scriptures. The object of the Christian faith is the living Christ – a real person.
Therefore, when considering the historic method to Bible study one must recognize its limitations as to what it can offer and use it in that way.
Dr. Braaten believes that the goal of the quest for the historical Jesus is to actually get rid of Jesus and replace it with a different religion.
Where do we meet the real and risen Christ The primary way to meet the risen Christ is through the preaching of the Word mediated through the Holy Scriptures within the body of Christ. Other ways include participation in the Sacraments, personal reading of the Bible and as Christians gather to converse about the Word. These are the very reasons why worship, baptism, regular celebration of the Lord’s Supper, daily devotions and small groups are essential to every Christian’s life.