Standing in the Shadow of Schweitzer

In my 2006 New York Times bestselling book, The Jesus Dynastywhich was subsequently translated into twenty-six languages, I included the following dedication:

Ad Memoriam Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
Missionary, philosopher, historian extraordinaire.
In whose shadow we all stand.

My book appeared on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Schweitzer’s most influential 1906 work, titled in English, The Quest of the Historical Jesus. When Schweitzer wrote there were no Dead Sea Scrolls, no significant archaeology related to understanding the Jewish world of Jesus or Galilean culture, none of the refinements we have made over the past fifty years in carrying on “the Quest” that he surveyed so impressively from “Reimarus zu Wrede” (the German title of his book). And yet, I believe he grasped the essentials that many of us continue to work with. His work on Paul, titled in English, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle remains the best book on Paul of that period–well worth reading again and again. I hope my book can continue to serve as a readable, even “page turning,” entrance into this world of academia for the non-specialist reader. Here are some reflections I wrote some years ago as well as this archived post on this blog: “Albert Schweitzer and a Thoroughly Apocalyptic Jesus (and Paul).”

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