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Journal Title: Вестник Православного Свято-Тихоновского гуманитарного университета: Серия I. Богословие, философия

ISSN: 1991-640X (Print); 2409-4692 (Online)

Publisher: St. Tikhon's Orthodox University

LCC Subject Category: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Religions. Mythology. Rationalism: Religion (General)

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian

Full-text formats available: PDF





Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The article discusses the history of the controversy regarding the historicity of Jesus Christ in the academic literature of the Soviet period. It summarizes the position of the classics of Marxism-Leninism on the issue, which for many decades served for scientists as «starting point» in their studies. The article outlines the main work of Soviet religious scholars, historians and philologists, engaged in the research of the New Testament. It presents the basic arguments for and against a real earthly existence of Jesus Christ. It identifies the major milestones in the development of this issue throughout the Soviet period: the period from 20’s, which is characterized by the dominance of the ideas of the so-called «Mythological school» and tough anti-religious propaganda; the period from the late 50’s to early 80’s, when the mythological nature of Jesus was questioned; and the third period, which began in the late 80s, and which is marked the transition of Soviet (and later Russian) New Testament studies in the context of a new paradigm that recognizes the fact of the historical existence of Jesus Christ as self-evident. The article also raises the question of why the Soviet studies of the New Testament literature were not integrated in the international debate, in particular, in the «Quest for the historical Jesus.» Aside from the obvious factors such as total indoctrination of science and the difficulty of international contacts, it is hypothesized that the crucial diffi culty in the development of Soviet Biblical Studies was in excessive use of sociological research methods of the New Testament, to the detriment of philological criticism of the Biblical text