Thursday, December 15, 2005

Good Reading

Jim West proposes a list of essential reading. But this begs the question as to who this is essential for? i.e. what kind of biblical scholar? And what this is essential for [faith, expertise, or self-indulgence?]. I'm almost afraid to admit this, for fear of being banished from the blogosphere, but I've only read a couple of items on that list! Ergo: my list would look radically different...
What would I put on my list of essential reading for biblical scholars? Well, I can't put forward a list of essential reading, because I've not nearly read enough to do that. So, leaving aside the primary sources - my list of "good" reading would be:
  1. Intro to the New Testament - R. E. Brown
  2. Intro to the New Testament [both volumes!] - Koester
  3. Theology of the Old Testament - Brueggemann
  4. Theology of the New Testament - Caird (Hurst)
  5. The Quest of the Historical Jesus- Albert Schweitzer
  6. Jesus and the Victory of God - N. T. Wright
  7. Critical Realism & the New Testament - Ben Meyer
  8. The Historical Jesus - Theissen & Mertz
  9. Systematic Theology - Wolfhart Pannenberg
  10. The Text of the New Testament- Bruce Metzger
  11. Dictionary of New Testament Background - Evans & Porter
  12. The Interpretation Of The New Testament - Neil & Wright
  13. Dictionary of New Testament Theology - Colin Brown
  14. The Moral Vision of the New Testament - R. Hays
  15. Gospel According to Matthew [3 vols.] - Davies & Allison
  16. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament [10 vols. :) ] - Kittel
  17. The First Urban Christians - W. Meeks
  18. Daniel - J.J. Collins
  19. Israel's Gospel - John Goldingay
  20. ........................................................ [Due to the current plague of attacks on a certain Bishop and the conclusions of the book in question this item has been removed for fear of "Blog Riots"] :)

One thing to remember about my list is that I've only been reading for 6 years! I haven't been around long enough to have read all the greats and I'm sure that this list will change with time. But, as a graduate student working and saving hard so that I too may attempt that epistemological nightmare of a journey [aka: a PhD] to acquire authentic understanding, this is my list of suggested or "good" reading.

Another thing to note is that my bias obviously lies with the New Testament and with books that expound, debate and explore those books - and of course the central figure within those books, namely Jesus of Nazareth. So while my list is of course idiosyncratic [#'s 1-20], it merely accords with what I have found to be helpful reading in understanding scripture [both Hebrew and Christian testaments] and the significance of Jesus, his aims and intentions, his life and his death, and ultimately his resurrection! [cf. #20]

Stands back - as he pushes the "publish post" button - and waits for the hurricanes to deconstruct in the "comments" section...

4 comments:

Ben Myers said...

God bless you for including Pannenberg (although would his Jesus - God and Man be a better choice for biblical scholars?).

A note on #7: although I'm flattered by the misspelling, I should point out that the chap mentioned in #7 is in fact Ben Meyer.

And, just to put in a good word for our infamous Bishop, I reckon #6 is a good choice too. ;-)

James Crossley said...

I'm just ready and waiting to spark a 'blog riot' and sling that mud, so come on what was no 20??! Oh, but seeing as it is Christmas nos 15 and 17 look particularly good choices to me.

eddie said...

Notably, theres little dedicated to the Jewish or Greco-Roman background of the first-century AD...

Sean du Toit said...

Well, #20 is RSG. As for the greco-roman background I would add that to my primary sources list. So Price and Zanker would definitely be there. As well as Fergusson's Backgrounds to Early Christianity and Jeffrey's.

But that is "good" reading in biblical scholars - but that would be necessary reading to understand why and how the authors in my "good" reading list have come to their conclusions.

But yeah, I suppose I could have included a book like Schurer on Judaism or Price on the Roman background.