Rodriguez has written a penetrating article which a good read for anyone concerned with the problems and pains of trying to do historical Jesus studies.
His view of history as a synthesis of past and present also reminds me of Anthony Thiselton’s idea of hermeneutics as the fusion of horizons (i.e. between author, text, reader).
All in all, it is a good article as to how history is not a ‘thing-in-self’ that can be discovered, but neither is history purely a socially constructed entity. If I read Rodriguez correctly, we do have access to a historical Jesus, but only through the socially (and theologically) constructed reality that re-presents him, or as Dunn and Dahl would say, through the remembered Jesus. Rodriguez is worth quoting here:
Certainly the Evangelists — and the communities that nurtured the traditions they adapted and wrote down — understood the past of Jesus' ministry in terms of their present, but this is not to say that they (re)constituted their past completely. We also see in the gospels aspects of the past that are not especially conducive to the present of the later Jesus movements; this is usually what is meant when some logion or other is classified as "dissimilar" or "embarrassing." But Jesus's followers, including the Evangelists, constituted their present in light of the past. There was no perfect fit between Jesus and the circumstances of his later followers, but neither was the "historical Jesus" an unrecognizable figure, in need of updating, to those who endeavored to write his story.
Given that so many books on orality, memory, tradition and history are being written at the moment (e.g. Hengel, Stanton, Bockmuehl, Thatcher), this is a good little article to read as an introduction to the complexities and problems involved. I would like to have seen Rodriguez also delve a little more into epistemology (e.g. critical realism) since I think that epistemological questions must been engaged along side the sociology and historiographical issues as well.