Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Top 25

Well, I'm not well versed enough to compete with Mike's Top 25 Scholars of All Time, but I can offer a student's proposal for the Top 25 Contemporary Scholars. I judge this purely based on reading their work and judging for myself whether I have found it helpful and whether it has made, so far as I can see, an impact on the scholarly community.
  1. N. T. Wright
  2. Martin Hengel
  3. Richard Bauckham
  4. Craig A. Evans
  5. Ben F. Meyer
  6. George B. Caird
  7. Graham Stanton
  8. Scot McKnight
  9. Ben Witherington
  10. David Aune
  11. Ed Sanders
  12. Gordon Fee
  13. Marcus Borg
  14. Richard Horsley
  15. Jimmy Dunn
  16. John P. Meier
  17. Raymond Brown
  18. Wolfhart Pannenberg
  19. Sean Freyne
  20. Joseph Fitzmyer
  21. Richard Burridge
  22. Walter Brueggeman
  23. John Goldingay
  24. Bruce Chilton
  25. John D. Crossan

Now, this list is obviously anachronistic in many ways. I have mostly included scholars who write on the historical Jesus, though some of them are well published on Paul as well. I've included Pannenberg because I just loved Jesus: God and Man, it was probably the first book I ever read that took the historical Jesus seriously. It was also the first book that inspired me to look into history to see the face of my rescuer.
I've included Burridge not because he has offered us any revolutionary studies in New Testament, but because his book: What are the Gospels? did signal and shift the tide of NT scholarship in a very helpful direction. Caird, Wright and Evans are my heroe's so I had to include them. One has to include Crossan, whose work I do not agree with, but who I must admit has made me think, and rethink many of my assumptions in historical Jesus research. Borg's Conflict, Holiness and Politics is superb, even though his latest books leave much to be desired. McKnight's books have been extraordinarily good to read, and digest. His work, with Witherington's have been the most helpful in explaining things to me.
What ever one makes of this list, it's possibly a helpful doorway for those wanting to engage with great minds on these great topics. The list is also in no particular order and if pushed answer who was the greatest? Probably Hengel or Wright would be my choice. Also, as Mark Goodacre notes: the fun of it is to be impressed, outraged and amused, not necessarily in equal measure.

5 comments:

Michael F. Bird said...

Oooh, you are gonna get hammered in comments! And they reckon I'm evangelical heavy? Wright at # 1 and not Bultmann, Baur or Schweitzer. Is a "top" list, or merely your favourites?

Ben Myers said...

But the inclusion of Pannenberg covers a multitude of sins.

Sean du Toit said...

I'm glad Pannenberg is there to save me! It's a mixture of my favourites and top scholars who have caused me to reckon with their work. Crossan's work is not favoured by myself, but it is still to be reckoned with. Yeah, I know it's Evangelical Heavy, but WHO CARES? It's the quality of scholarship they produce, not the convictions they necessarily hold to that I have found helpful and engaging.

I so wanted to put Schweitzer in there, but it was him or McKnight and well, McKnight's [i]A New Vision[/i] has been so helpful [bar the chapter categories] that I had to include him.

So, Bring on the Hammering!

Tim Glass said...

No suprise who you listed up the top there! ;)

eddie said...

What about Stanley Porter? Anthony Thiselton?? David Wenham??? If Goldingay wasnt in there I'd have to shoot you.