Friday, August 05, 2005

Good Books, Good Reads

Since some are offering their great books on Jesus, I thought I'd add my thoughts to putting together a top ten reads on Jesus. Notably, I have divided my list into academic and popular so as to make this helpful for those who don't want to wonder into the forbidden realms of academic dialogue which can at times have more footnotes than insight...
Academic List
  1. N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God
  2. G.B. Caird, New Testament Theology, chp. 9. [Jesus and the Jewish Nation]
  3. B. Meyer, The Aims of Jesus
  4. Scot McKnight, A New Vision for Israel
  5. Craig A. Evans Jesus and His Contemporaries
  6. John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew
  7. R. H. Horsley Jesus and the Spiral of Violence
  8. E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism
  9. Ben Witherington, The Christology of Jesus
  10. James Dunn, Jesus Remembered

The Top Popular books on Jesus, would have to include...

    1. D. Wenham, The Parables of Jesus
    2. Tom Wright, The Challenge of Jesus
    3. Scot McKnight, The Jesus Creed
    4. Markus Bockmuehl, This Jesus
    5. J. John & Chris Walley, The Life
    6. E. P. Sanders, The Historical Jesus
    7. C. Blomberg, Jesus and the Gospels
    8. G. Stanton, The Gospels and Jesus
    9. B. Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian
    10. R. Stein, Jesus the Messiah

Some new books on the horizon to be aware of would have to be:

Jesus and His Death: Scot McKnight. The write up reads,

Recent scholarship on the historical Jesus has rightly focused upon how Jesus understood his own mission. But no scholarly effort to understand the mission of Jesus can rest content without exploring the historical possibility that Jesus envisioned his own death. In this careful and far-reaching study, Scot McKnight contends that Jesus did in fact anticipate his own death, that Jesus understood his death as an atoning sacrifice, and that his death as an atoning sacrifice stood at the heart of Jesus' own mission to protect his own followers from the judgment of God.

Another interesting book is a collection of articles on the historical Jesus edited by S. McKnight and J. D. G. Dunn, The Historical Jesus in Recent Research.

The past two or three decades have witnessed significant activity in research on the Jesus of the Gospels and history. In fact, there has been such a plethora of publication on such a wide variety of facets of this issue that it is difficult to keep pace with the rate of publication. In this volume, Dunn and McKnight have collected and provided introductions to a wide cross-section of essays on the topic, ranging from classic essays by the likes of Bultmann, Cadbury, and Schweitzer to the most recent investigations of Horsley, Levine, and Wright. This volume will be a very useful book for courses and seminars on Jesus or the historical Jesus, because it draws together in one place a wide variety of perspectives and approaches to the issues.

Authors represented include: P. S. Alexander, D. C. Allison, P. W. Barnett, M. J. Borg, R. Bultmann, H. J. Cadbury, P. M. Casey, G. B. Caird, B. Chilton, C. E. B. Cranfield, J. D. G. Dunn, R. A. Horsley, J. Jeremias, M. Kähler, W. G. Kümmel, E. F. Lemcio, A.-J. Levine, G. Luedemann, J. P. Meier, B. F. Meyer, R. Morgan, J. A. T. Robinson, E. P. Sanders, A. Schweitzer, K. R. Snodgrass, G. N. Stanton, P. Stuhlmacher, G. Theissen, N. T. Wright.

This looks like a great intro to the quest. Notoably, missing are members of the Jesus Seminar and paticularly J. D. Crossan. Not that I'm a fan of his work, or theirs for that matter [His method is far too awkward and idiosyncratic for this student] but he did offer a significant contribution which many have taken some what seriously.

See also the quick review of Scripture and the Authority of God by Mike Starkey. Thanks to Mark Goodacre for the link.

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