So I am beginning to bundle the Third Quest in terms of the 1980s and 1990s, dominated by the work of Crossan, Borg, Patterson, Funk, Mack, Downing and the Jesus Seminar, but also including Horsley, Kaylor, Witherington, Meier, and so forth.
The Fourth Quest appears to me to be reactionary and pushes several items to the forefront.
- Jesus is a Jew
- there is an apocalyptic dimension to Jesus' teaching (as in, the world is coming to a quick end) that cannot be dismissed
- there are serious problems with the dissimilarity principle and it should be replaced with or corrected by a criterion of historical plausibility or incremental change - that there must be connections between Jesus and Judaism and between Jesus and the early Church
- there is an experiential aspect to Jesus' mission that we must address
- the historical Jesus cannot continue to look like or sound like a hippy from the 1960s or a college professor
- we have to take seriously studies in orality