Saturday 21 August 2010

The Historical Jesus

I finally got around to reading the IVP Academic title The Historical Jesus this week. It features a diverse group of scholars who present their 'take' on the subject, and provide short, sharp responses to the other contributors. Those involved are:

Bob Price: Former Baptist, currently Episcopalian, and widely read in skeptical circles. Jesus didn't exist, but that's OK.
John Dominic Crossan: Progressive Catholic. Jesus opposed Roman imperialism with non-violence.
Luke Timothy Johnson: Conservative Catholic. Jesus is best approached as a faith-building literary character.
James D. G. Dunn: (I aint sayin' nuthin' about him!)
Darrell Bock: Teaches at Dallas Theological Seminary - say no more. "I believe, help thou everyone else's unbelief!"

Actually it's a bit of a shark tank. These guys aren't afraid to let rip. Bob Price and Dom Crossan aren't the only ones to get beaten up with lead-weighted crucifixes either. I picked up this book with some clear prejudices about some of those involved... well, specifically Johnson and Bock. Bock didn't disappoint, he definitely lives up (down, sideways) to his so-called 'evangelicalism'. Johnson however impressed me; though I don't buy his approach, he's obviously a very perceptive character, and I might even have to go back and reread his The Real Jesus. Dunn surprised me too, though I'll leave any comment on that to another time. Well worth the investment!


  1. Have you done a review of Doherty?

  2. I've heard that there are Atheist that give better interpretations of Jesus. I am not up on them. It would be cool to see a list of "Atheist Jesus Theories" with very short one paragraph summaries.