The incarnation implies that the story of Jesus is not only a possible subject for historical research, study, and criticism, but demands all of these. We need to know who the Jesus of history was, as well as the content of his message. We may not avoid the offence of the incarnation. And if one objects that we fail to apprehend the essential nature of faith if we make historical knowledge the object of faith, and that faith is in this way offered up to such dubious, subjective, and hypothetical study, we can only reply that God has offered up Himself. The incarnation is the self-offering of God, and to that we can only bow in assent.
Joachim Jeremias, ‘The Search for the Historical Jesus’, repr. in Jesus and the Message of the New Testament ed. K. C. Hanson (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002), 8.