At the beginning of twentieth century, Albert Schweitzer wrote a book called, The Quest of the Historical Jesus. In this book (which I highly recommend), Schweitzer guides the reader through the post-enlightenment attempts of (mostly German) scholars to peel back legend and church tradition to get to the real or historical Jesus. What Schweitzer reports on is usually called the first quest for the historical Jesus. But this quest continues on in different forms and exists today.
The Historical Jesus: Five Views, edited by James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy, gives a good snapshot of where the quest is at today. If you are not familiar with the five (or four) views books, they are a very helpful resource. A number of scholars from different perspectives are invited to write on a certain subject. In addition to writing their own chapter, they also have the opportunity to comment on each other’s chapters. I recommend you pick up as many in this series as you can get.
In this book, the scholars include Robert Price, John Dominic Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson, James Dunn and Darrell Bock. I find it very interesting that the Jesus Myth Theory has become important enough to be included in such a study.
I really enjoyed this book. Even reading the chapters by scholars I disagreed with (Price and Crossan) was a good learning experience. I personally lean toward the positions of Dunn and Bock, but also appreciated the insights of Johnson.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in New Testament studies or apologetics. It is an extremely valuable resource. If you don’t have your copy yet, make sure to get it.