A New Perspective on Jesus: What the Quest for the Historical Jesus Missed (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 7.1 ounces
- Paperback : 136 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0801027101
- ISBN-13 : 978-0801027109
- Product Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.31 x 8.2 inches
- Publisher : Baker Academic (March 1, 2005)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,757,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dunn's next point is to attack the overly literary mindset of historical Jesus scholars in their primary focus on getting to the written sources behind the gospels like Ur-Markus or Q. Dunn is not claiming that such investigation is useless but that at best it partly tackles the issue because the earliest tradition was transmitted orally before it was committed to writing. Dunn offers some interesting views about how this was done though an "uncontrolled authoritative" means rather than the "controlled authoritative" rabbinical tradition or the "uncontrolled un-authoritative" of a contemporary game of telephone. Dunn rightly emphasizes that 1st century culture was very much orally based even when things were written down like the gospels or the letters of Paul. It is a whole different paradigm of thought as compared to the literary mindset.
Dunn's last main point is that instead of using the criterion of dissimilarity like a bludgeon to produce a strange Jesus wholly different from his Jewish background and the Christianity that followed him, historians should look for the `characteristic' Jesus who was both influenced by his Jewish background and also in turn influenced the early church.
Basically, James Dunn argues for a more open view of the Jesus tradition and is critical of the anti-Christian biases that has affected historical Jesus research since its beginnings in the 19th century.
This small piece of writing is not to be judged by the number of pages. The content of the book is much more weighty than its size would attest to. Pick it up for yourself and see!