Those who are interested in or in agreement with Bernard Lonergan’s “critical realism” and how McMaster University’s long-serving distinguished Professor Ben Meyer put it to work in his influential books, The Aims of Jesus (1979) and Reality and Illusion in New Testament Scholarship (1994), will welcome Jonathan Bernier’s study under review. Lonergan affirmed the reality and validity of available historical data and at the same time acknowledged our subjective perception of it. The latter is not bad, but it has to be recognized. Bernier wishes to probe this important inquiry more deeply.

Bernier’s engagement with Lonergan and Meyer comes at a time when thinking with respect to the historical Jesus has changed much, compared to what it was when Meyer wrote his book on Jesus 40 years ago. Today, we hear talk of the “demise of authenticity” and the inadequacies of the criteria utilized in the task of evaluating material...

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