Form-criticism... has made an end of the false notion, which for a long time dominated critical scholarship, that it was possible throughout the gospels to distill from them a "Life of Jesus" that would be free from dogmatic presuppositions and not affected by any "retouching" derived from the faith of the Church. In fact, however, faith in Jesus Christ crucified and risen did not first appear at some later stage in the tradition, but was the foundation of the tradition, the very soil out of which it grew; and it is in light of that faith alone that the tradition can be understood. This faith in Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Exalted One, explains both the things which the primitive tradition makes known to us, with its manifest concern for the factual truth of the tradition about Jesus, and at the same time the peculiar liberty which the evangelists take in making alterations in the record in points of detail. In relating the acts and words of Jesus, they do not refer back to any sort of "archives" possessed by the community... Jesus Christ is not for them a figure of past history whose proper place is in a library.
Quotes, by Guenther Bornkamm