Debate over whether or not Jesus can be best interpreted within an 'apocalyptic scenario' has continued to dominate historical Jesus studies since Schweitzer and Bultmann. In The Prophet Jesus and the Renewal of Israel Richard Horsley shows that the apocalyptic scenario--with its supposed expectation of 'the end of the world,' the fiery 'last judgment,' and 'the parousia of the Son of Man'--is a modern scholarly construct that obscures the particulars of texts, society, and history.
Drawing on his wide-ranging earlier scholarship, Horsley refocuses and reformulates investigation of the historical Jesus in a thoroughly relational-contextual approach. He recognizes that the sources for the historical Jesus are not separate sayings, but rather the sustained Gospel narratives of Jesus' mission. Horsley's new approach finds Jesus the popular prophet engaged in a movement of renewal, resistance, and judgment against Roman imperialism, Jerusalem rulers, and the Pharisees.