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The Historical Jesus in Context (Princeton Readings in Religions) Paperback – November 5, 2006
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"A very useful introduction to the historical background of Jesus and the Gospels...A valuable resource for historical Jesus studies."--Michael Bird, Journal for the Study of the New Testament
"It is a major research tool and an education in its own right. Highly recommended."--Robert M. Price, Religious Studies Review
"In general, this is a volume especially useful as a resource for teaching about Jesus in his historical context."--Bruce Longenecker, Theological Book Review
"This collection of essays is a very useful introduction to the historical background of Jesus and the Gospels. The translation of a number of primary texts in one volume makes it a valuable resource for historical Jesus studies."--Michael Bird, Journal for the Study of the New Testament
"The heart of the matter is in the ancient texts themselves--let the reader understand! For this reason, the student of Christian origins and/or the historical Jesus will find this book eminently worthwhile. There is, as far as I know, no other book on the market that brings the primary textual backgrounds on Jesus together in one place."--Nicholas Perrin, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"An excellent addition to any library--whether scholarly, pastoral, or devotional--this is an illuminating volume with easy to follow, concise essays that deal with a variety of subjects or aspects of the world in which Jesus lived and the gospels written. Excellent for scholars, students, those charge with pastoral responsibilities or the interested reading public, The Historical Jesus in Context provides background and insights that illumine the gospel record in delightfully unexpected ways."--Stephen Morris, European Legacy
From the Back Cover
"An impressive volume. Levine, Allison, and Crossan have assembled a group of experts who, by generously citing and carefully analyzing primary sources, contextualize Jesus in the Jewish and wider Greco-Roman world of his time. The essays cast a wide net and collect a rich assortment of information for students of the historical Jesus and the Gospels."--James C. Vanderkam, University of Notre Dame, author of The Dead Sea Scrolls
"Textbooks are increasingly difficult to find for an introductory class on Jesus of Nazareth. The Historical Jesus in Context provides an anthology of important primary texts that are set in context so that they illuminate what Jesus and his world was like. The selections are judicious, the authors prominent, and the potential for students illuminating."--Scot McKnight, author of The Jesus Creed
"This is a source book to help all obtain their own conclusions, by emphasizing that Jesus' own message must be grounded in the original historical context. The task is not only imperative but also demanded morally. No other book does this so well. It is amazingly well done and well written."--James Charlesworth, Princeton Theological Seminary
"This is a great collection and would certainly be of interest to scholars and laypersons interested in the quest for the historical Jesus. The selection of scholars is top notch, and the notes and commentary for each source are strong."--Kathleen Corley, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, Talbert's "Miraculous Conceptions and Births in Mediterranean Antiquity" is a masterpiece of conciseness and logical arrangement.
Witherington's "Isaiah 53:1-12 (Septuagint)" contains parallel translations of the Hebrew Version and LXX and points out some significant differences between the two. He should have stopped there. Somehow the use of "good news" supports Witherington's belief that Jesus was influenced by the Servant Songs. Likewise, a quotation from Isaiah 61:1-2 (which is from Third Isaiah while the songs come from Second Isaiah). Witherington also refers to "another Servant Song found in Isaiah 43:3-4." Has he just found a fifth song which everyone else has missed? (Universally recognized are the four songs in 42:1-4 [or 1-6], 49:1-6, 50:4-9, 52:13-53:12.) I am completely unable to follow his logic, "The historical likelihood that Jesus spoke of shedding his blood in the place of many seems high, not least because Maccabean martyrs had conceptualized their roles like this before Jesus." The contemporary availability of a concept makes it likely that one uses it? Witherington chooses to believe "these later Christian texts are developing further a trend that Jesus himself set in motion." It is just as easy to believe that the later Christian texts themselves set this trend in motion.Read more ›
I don't see anything that makes this book more integrated than an anthology of selected sources. Prof. Levine's forty-page introduction to the search for the historical Jesus provides a general historical framework. But each documentary chapter seems to stand on it own. What some readers will want is a parallel textbook tying the anthologized documents to framework.
That said, the volume abounds in latent insights to the writings to be discovered and integrated by a diligent reader who brings his own framework to the book.
Seriously, if you're genuinely interested in the topic, and you know the groundwork, this book is a perfect next step.
Keep in mind, it's not a single book, it's a collection of articles regarding a bunch of specific subtopics, so there's no cohesive take-away or thesis here. But what you'll learn is astonishing, from the results of recent archaeology in 1st century Galilean digs, to descriptions of Jerusalem and the Temple, to what we can learn about the gospels from ancient Greek schoolbooks, how the Aramaic word for "father" was used and what that tells us about Jewish texts, and so forth.
There's a lot of low-information baloney about Jesus out there right now. So it's good to see a well-documented book like this being published. I wish there were more like it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An important book by a prolific writer and a very pertinent topic.Published 10 months ago by Josepe Shulam
This book is excellent for anyone who is interested in the historical life of Jesus. I found it very informative and enlightening.Published on September 19, 2013 by Barbie Gorelick Callanan
Scholarly and readable research findings and essays on the social and political time frame of his life. Read morePublished on April 11, 2013 by Elaine Creaden