The Jesus of the quest

Helena's quest for Jesus was apparently motivated by the need to be in touch with the one who could impart to her eternal life. By contrast, the modern quest had its roots in the Enlightenment need to be emancipated from the chains of church dogma, and the story is usually begun with Reimarus (1694-1768). A well-respected scholar during his lifetime, it was only after his death that his controversial views were published. He found 'cause to separate completely what the apostles say in their own writings from that which Jesus himself actually said and taught'.51 Basing his claims on careful study of the gospel sources, Reimarus showed that classic Christian doctrines, such as the Atonement and the Trinity, were not revealed by Jesus, and that Jesus was a Jew

50 Kyrios Christos.

51 Reimarus: Fragments, 64.

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