Fundamentalist groups reject biblical criticism, and both the Southern Baptist Convention and Missouri Lutheran Church have had bitter fights about biblical criticism in which the “rejectionists” have triumphed.



For these episodes and others, see W. Neil, “The Criticism and Theological Use of the Bible, 1700–1950,” in The Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. S.L. Greenslade (Cambridge, UK: Univ. Press, 1963), vol. 3, pp. 238–293.


See the comment of Craig A. Evans, “Authenticity Criteria in Life of Jesus Research,” Christian Scholar’s Review 19 (1989), p. 6: “Prior to the critical period of biblical studies, canonicity was the only test for determining the authenticity of the sayings of Jesus. What was in the New Testament was authentic; what was not in the New Testament was suspect.”


For this change and its effect on theology and Scripture, see especially Van Austin Harvey, The Historian and the Believer (New York: Macmillan, 1966).


Albert Schweitzer’s famous The Quest of the Historical Jesus, published in German in 1906 and in English in 1910 and still the most widely read account of the quest, begins with Reimarus. For this period, see also Colin Brown, Jesus in European Protestant Thought: 1778–1860 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1985). For a compact survey of the quest, see N. Thomas Wright, “Jesus, Quest for the Historical,” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 3, pp. 796–802.


For a recent English translation, see D. F. Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, transl. Peter Hodgson (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1972), first translated into English in 1846 by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans).


Cited by Schweitzer, Quest of the Historical Jesus, p. 97, and Jesus, ed. Hugh Anderson, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1967), p. 108.


Neil, “The Criticism and Theological Use of the Bible,” pp. 281–283; Andrew White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (NY: George Braziller, 1955 [1896]), vol. 2, pp. 341–348; Stephen Neil and Tom Wright, The Interpretation of the New Testament 1861–1986 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1986), pp. 31–34.


White, A History of the Warfare, vol. 2, pp. 349–357. Colenso was later reinstated.


White, A History of the Warfare, vol. 1, pp, 313–316.


Claude Welch, Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1985), vol. 2, pp. 166–167.


The date of its demise is impossible to pinpoint, for its erosion was a gradual process, occurring at different times for different groups (earlier for the “intellectual elites” than for mass culture). As a cultural “event,” it has been dated by some scholars to the late 19th century.