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The Historiographical Jesus: Memory, Typology, and the Son of David

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ISBN-13: 978-1602580657
ISBN-10: 1602580650
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Editorial Reviews


"Le Donne's project is exceedingly well-researched in both primary and secondary literature. This work has the potential of bringing social memory into the forefront of historical Jesus studies and of adding considerations of social memory to the criteria of historical authenticity already in use."―Robert H. Gundry, Scholar-in-Residence, Westmont College, author of major commentaries on Matthew and Mark, and of The Old is Better

"... with its focus on typology and history, this work represents a fine critical adaptation of social memory theory. It proves to be a significant contribution to the field of historical Jesus research."―The Expository Times

"... this volume is a welcome addition to Gospel studies and offers a refreshingly sane and lucid approach to historical Jesus research... Le Donne has made a significant contribution that should be carefully considered by students and scholars alike."―Kelly Iverson, Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"This work could point the way to a whole new approach to distinguishing authentic Jesus material."―Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University

"Le Donne reveals a strong grasp of both philosophical and historiographical literature, as well as the necessary Second Temple and early Christian texts. He is a trustworthy guide for such an endeavor as this."―Johnny Walker, Freedom in Orthodoxy

"This book holds value for both historical-Jesus scholars as well as those interested in Gospel exegesis."―Benjamin I. Simpson, Bibliotheca Sacra

"Anyone involved with historical Jesus research should interact with this work on some level."―David Brack, Asbury Theological Seminary, Religious Studies Review

"As historical positivism continues to crumble, Le Donne paves a way forward for Jesus research. While building on previous work of Dunn and others, Le Donne proceeds to find his own voice and moves the conversation forward. Anyone involved with historical Jesus research should interact with this work on some level."―David Brack, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Le Donne succeed, as he sets out to do, in presenting a compelling demonstration of history as memory refraction."―Catholic Biblical Quarterly

About the Author

Anthony Le Donne (Ph.D. Durham University) is the author of Historical Jesus: A Postmodern Paradigm (Eerdmans, 2010). He lives in Loomis, California.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press (July 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602580650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602580657
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,692,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

This bio was taken directly from my webpage:

I am Assistant Professor of New Testament and Second Temple Judaism at Lincoln Christian University. I live in Lincoln, IL with my wife of eleven years and my two children. Before this, we lived in California, and before that, in Durham, England.

While in Durham, I studied with James Dunn as he completed his Jesus Remembered and with John Barclay as he completed his commentary on Josephus' Against Apion. Both Jimmy and John were brilliant conversation partners and beyond generous with their time and investment in me and my research. I was Jimmy's last PhD candidate and John's first at Durham.

These years at Durham saw a confluence of fortunate turns for New Testament studies. Dunn was still very active in the department, Barclay made the move from Glasgow, Loren Stuckenbruck hadn't yet left for Princeton, and Tom Wright was appointed Bishop of Durham. The weekly New Testament Seminar was a theological perfect storm.

I consider myself, first and foremost, a writer for students. I think that the most difficult thing to do in academia is to translate complex ideas for non-specialists. This requires knowing a subject extremely well and knowing one's audience even better. In my opinion, there are only a handful of specialists that do this well. I aspire to this.

I have several books forthcoming. These include my 'Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It (Eerdmans, 2011)' and 'The Fourth Gospel and Ancient Media Culture (T&T Clark / Continuum, 2011)' The latter was co-edited by Dr. Tom Thatcher and myself. I am also knee-deep into a project that uses the historical Jesus as a platform for Jewish Christian dialogue (I serve as co-editor alongside Jacob Neusner and Bruce Chilton).

Besides writing, I enjoy web design, cooking, baseball, fantasy/sci-fi, film, and Minnesotan folk music.

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joel L. Watts VINE VOICE on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Le Donne has furnished a first of it's kind entry into the field of research on the Historical Jesus; however, if you remove the author's thesis (which is tough to find at times) and the redaction criticism, you come away with a great commentary on Psalm 110, some 2nd Temple material, and a great proponent of typological Christology. In a few words, if you review much of the author's work, you are left with much of the same discussion which would have been held by many of the early Christian writers.

The author spends more time than necessary reiterating his plans and goals, much more it seems then he does actually showcasing his achievements. Further, he rarely explains his conclusions and acceptance, or rejection, of modern research positions, such as accepting Bultmann, but distancing himself from Jung, makes use of `Q' as a valid source, but focus on Mark, accepts Ralf's change to the 18th Psalm of Solomon, applies modern linguists to ancient idioms, and spends no time in addressing any of Solomon's negatives found in strains of the Hebrew Scriptures. Finally, his use of Morton Smith as a credible source astounds me.

On the other hand, the author realizes the pitfalls of a massive work like this, acknowledging from the first that his book might not be read as a whole, but in part. He constantly refreshes the reader's mind with ques to his previous material and foreshadowing what is to come, plainly spells out his goals and his methodology, and makes many convincing arguments that may change some aspects of the research into the Historical Jesus.

His book rests on the idea that memory is rarely held without external or internal presuppositions and is often times narrativized so as to produce standard memories of the local community.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Walker on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Historiographical Jesus
by Anthony Le Donne
(Baylor University Press, 309 pages, $49.95)

Recent years have witnessed a burgeoning movement in historical Jesus research, spearheaded by Dale Allison and Jimmy Dunn, arguing that "the quest for the historical Jesus is essentially an endeavor to recover accurate human memories".1 Or in Dunn's famous dictum, it is the quest for "Jesus remembered".2 While the form critics would have us seeking to peal back the layers of interpretation to uncover a pristine, uninterpreted, unadulterated Jesus of history, Allison and Dunn find that task, not only impossible, but misconceived. The only Jesus that we will ever have is Jesus as interpreted by his earliest witnesses.

Yet isn't this cause for lament? A council of despair? We have no access to the historical Jesus! However alarming is the mediated nature of our sources, we must withhold doing away with quest just yet. For the interpreted reality of the historical Jesus is only problematic when resting upon modern, positivistic notions of history. Indeed, and insofar as these notions are modern and positivistic, they are gravely outdated and misconstrued. Thus, in a compelling effort to correct the historiographical assumptions of contemporary Jesus research, Anthony Le Donne has produced a fine monograph, stemming from his Durham dissertation under James D. G. Dunn, entitled The Historiographical Jesus: Memory, Typology, and the Son of David.

In conversation with leading figures in hermeneutics as well as social memory theory, Le Donne proposes a "middle ground between critical realism and postfoundationalism.
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