During Renan’s lifetime, Life of Jesus achieved considerable notoriety. It examined the life of Christ purely historically, following the trends of 19th century German higher criticism. Renan was wary of accepting the historicity of any supernatural elements in the New Testament, and his sceptical reading of the Gospels led him to deny the divinity of Christ. Since its publication, Life of Jesus has powerfully shaped the fields of modern biblical criticism and Christology. It has inspired many supplements, replies, and rebuttals, including Albert Schweitzer’s Quest of the Historical Jesus.