Explain why some scholars think there is a difference between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith.
While some theologians such as James Cone believe that the distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith is a mistake, other theologians, including the Quest theologians, believe that the distinction is valid.
Some theologians, such as Rudolf Bultmann holds the view that the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith should not be confused, as they believe that the claims made in the creeds that Jesus died for the sins of the world are not historical but are merely theological ideas. In fact, Bultmann remains highly skeptical that we can know for certain anything about the Jesus of history because all we can know with a degree of certain is the kerygma, i.e. the earliest message of Christianity. By stripping away the developments of the gospel it is possible to get back to the within earshot of the historical Jesus but not actually Jesus himself. Demythologising and sorting out the development of the kerygma reveal 1) Jesus the teacher who teaches people who despaired of this world to turn away from ‘darkness’ of sin and trust in the truth of God; 2) Christ the divine messiah, a title given to Jesus by the early Christian church, who was inspired by the powerful experience of the risen Christ. In short, what Bultmann is saying is that it is the Church’s reflection on the risen Christ which is the basis and cornerstone of Christian faith rather than the historical Jesus himself. In other words, as the Jesus scholar John Meier puts it, ‘the Jesus of history is the ‘actual man’ while the Christ of faith is the reconstructed image (our version of Jesus).’