- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (November 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060655178
- ISBN-13: 978-0060655174
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 109 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Mack's (The Lost Gospel; A Myth of Innocence) newest book is one of those rare volumes that, upon completion, makes one wonder how we could possibly have lived without it. The clarity of Mack's prose and the intelligent pursuit of his subject make compelling reading. Of course, the question Mack asks is not one Christians have been encouraged to ask, which only adds to the book's interest. Mack's investigation of the various groups and strands of the early Christian Community?out of which were generated the texts of Christianity's first anthology of religious literature?makes sense of a topic that has often been confusing. Regrettably, in an effort to appeal to a popular audience, Mack's treatment has been pruned of much of its scholarly apparatus; his notes would have been a welcome resource. Certainly, as the number of publications emerging from Jesus Seminar draw attack from conservative seminaries, such apparatus will become essential, popular audience or no. Nonetheless, this is an important book; a must-read for any student of the New Testament.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Certainly Mack's book should take a place in the front ranks of the many fine introductions available to students of the New Testament in both academic and nonacademic settings. A comprehensive synthesis of New Testament scholarship that is nevertheless popularly accessible, it will make a particularly useful introductory text in an area where such texts are in great demand. But it is more than an excellent introduction. As the subtitle suggests, the book is also a critical account of the making of the Christian myth--an invitation to critical reflection on the social construction of a foundational epic that has shaped (and been shaped by) the history and behavior of the West since Constantine. That makes it an introduction to mythmaking that is more than a colonial criticism or classification of other people's myths; it is an invitation to cultural self-criticism, an invaluable contribution to liberal education that is a potentially important corrective to triumphalist practices as tempting in our multicultural age as they were in the multicultural matrix out of which Christian scripture emerged. Steve Schroeder
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Mack does not discuss the historical Jesus at all. The interest here is in the communities that formed after his death and what they believed and wrote about him.
There were some helpful sections, so this book was not a complete waste. But it just did not wow me. Nothing was groundbreaking for me. I’d encourage Marcus Borg, John Crossan, or Bart Ehrman if you are looking for more nuanced approaches in critical studies of the New Testament.