Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (MA)

First Advisor

James Edward Ellis

Second Advisor

Stephen T. Franklin

Third Advisor

Carl Leth


The Quest for the Historical Jesus is a hallmark of modern biblical scholarship that has, in recent decades, given birth to the so-called “Third Quest.” A prominent “Third Quest” scholar, N. T. Wright, and his work are the focus of this study. After summarizing some of the monumental works of Historical Jesus research throughout its 200+ year history (chapter 1), this thesis presents a summary of Historical Jesus research since the 1980s (chapter 2) and then enters into specific dialog with the work of Wright. Wright’s portrait of the Historical Jesus is summarized, with special attention given to Wright’s presentation of the eschatological nature of Jesus’ ministry (chapter 3). Finally, the author presents his own research into Jesus’ use of the term Gehenna, and argues that Wright has misunderstood this crucial eschatological facet of the Historical Jesus’ ministry (chapter 4).


M.A. in Biblical Studies thesis completed in 2011 for Olivet Nazarene University.