Von dem Zwecke Jesu und seiner Jünger (On the Aim of Jesus and His Disciples / 1778 Reimarus / Lessing), book
Von dem Zwecke Jesu und seiner Jünger: noch ein Fragment des Wolfenbüttelschen Ungenannten <German> / On the Aim of Jesus and His Disciples (1778) is a book by Hermann Samuel Reimarus, edited by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
The publication of the fragments from Reimarus marks the beginning of the search for the historical Jesus. According to Reimarus, Christianity is based on a double misrepresentation. Jesus was a Jewish revolutionary who failed to overthrow the Romans and was instead executed by them on the cross. After stealing and hiding his body, his disciples proclaimed his divinity and announced his imminent return from heaven, that did not materialize.
Editions and translations
Published posthumously in Germany (Braunschweig: 1778). Translated into English by Charles Voysey (1828-1912) (London and Edinburgh, Williams and Norgate, 1879
- Fragments from Reimarus (1879 Reimarus/Lessing), book (English ed.)
- Reimarus: Fragments (1970 Reimarus/Lessing), book (English ed.) ed. by Charles H. Talbert. Transl. by Ralph S. Fraser (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1970).
- The Goal of Jesus and His Disciples (1970 (Reimarus/Lessing), book (English ed.) by George Wesley Buchanan (Leiden: Brill, 1970)
- I frammenti dell'Anonimo di Wolfenbüttel (1977 Reimarus/Lessing), book (Italian ed.) ed. Fausto Parente (Naples: Bibliopolis, 1977)