The Future of Criteria in Historical Jesus Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent discussions of method in historical Jesus research have called into question the use of criteria for evaluating the authenticity of Gospel material. The present article lays out the reasons why a number of scholars call for an abandonment of the so-called criteria approach and then criticizes the allegation that this approach is genetically and logically dependent on form criticism. By analysis of how the question of authenticity is handled with regard to Jesus’ baptism, his action in the temple and his crucifixion, it is then argued that criteria are necessary for assessing the historicity of major events in the life of Jesus. Finally, three suggestions as to how the future use of authenticity criteria may take into account the recent challenges are made.


  • Tobias Hägerland
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • authenticity criteria, form criticism, historical method, Jesus, memory, recurrent attestation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-65
JournalJournal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)