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Jesus: The King and His Kingdom Hardcover – February, 1984

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 347 pages
  • Publisher: Mercer Univ Pr (February 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865540721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865540729
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,210,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
George Wesley Buchanan believes that Bible scholars haven't had the courage to face the historical Jesus, or at least to communicate the truth about Jesus to ordinary Christians.
He uses form criticism to discover what can be known about Jesus. I learned everything I know about "chreias" from this book. Chreias are memory devices Greek rhetoricians used. Buchanan believes that Bible writers remembered events in Jesus's life in chreia form. He believes he can identify them where they occur, and that chreia portions of the Gospels can be trusted as reliable. This provides an answer to the synoptic problem.
Using both Christian and non-Christian literature, he traces chreias in literature through hundreds of years, showing how the meaning remained the same, but the wording varied .
Buchanan believes that parables are less reliably preserved than chreias. He notices hints of military terminology in the parables. This leads him to suspect that Reimarus was too quickly dismissed, and that at least at one time Jesus probably was organizing an insurrection against the Romans.
He has a chapter on cycles of time that helps explain eschatological thinking during Bible times.
The book is much better than this review. Buchanan presents lots of data, but tries not to be dogmatic. In spite of the depressing conclusions that Buchanan seems to reach about Jesus, you should read the book. You won't stay up nights any more wondering why Matthew, Mark, and Luke report the same events in different words after reading about chreias.
None of Buchanan's books are boring, and none are a rehash of what others have said before him. They are always full of original thought and interesting data.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David E. Blair on September 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As to the title of this review, all works I have considered so far on the topic of the historical Jesus are speculative, most are scholarly to a greater or lesser extent, and many are dishonest to varying degrees in a variety of ways. If the purpose of these works is to reveal to the reader an objective picture of the life and ministry of Jesus, quite a number are useless while a majority are marginally to moderately useful. Albert Schweitzer famously disposed of most of the first quest for the historical Jesus by German scholars of the nineteenth century in one terse sentence. The second quest following Bultmann and Dibelius found that a true picture was unobtainable considering the source information available. And, the third quest that commenced in or shortly before the nineteen seventies has produced a wide variety of different and mutually incompatible results. It is a tribute to the pluralism of our contemporary society that in this third quest we can find a portrait of Jesus to suit any one's needs and prejudices. I have read or reread over sixty works in this cycle of study on the topic of the historical Jesus with well over forty of these works being from the third quest. And at this point, I am inclined to agree with Willian E. Arnal's assessment that the third quest is just about as abject a failure as were the first two.

This book is the work of a mature scholar at the height of his powers. Conclusory assumptions appear to be totally missing from this work. This book is a methodical presentation of fact, theory, and speculative deduction that is honest in separating fact from opinion. The reader is invited to form his own interpretations by interacting with the author's methodological practices, operating theories, and factual presentations.
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