December 22, 2009

Ten Books of my 2009

This is my 374th post for the year 2009. Celucien Joseph says that makes me prolific. Lou also tagged me to list my top ten books for 2009. Poor Lou. He really wants to believe that I read at least half as much as I write. (!) Well, let's see...

I had very few reservations about how much I enjoyed Allison's The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus. John P Meier's A Marginal Jew, Volume IV: Law and Love was wonderful from beginning to end, except for much of the middle. I tweeted about that dichotomy a bit, back when I was tweeting.

Reading Craig Blomberg's The Historical Reliability of the Gospels and then his Jesus and the Gospels was profoundly headache-inducing, but a conversation with Craig at SBL has me thinking Chronological ignorance may actually trump Theological preference as the main reason why Christian Scholars keep Jesus on the outer fringe of History. Because of that, these may be the most influential and important books I read all year long.

Richard Bacukham's Testimony of the Beloved Disciple had a chapter on Historiography in John's Gospel that was 97.8% wonderful. I'll always remember the day Nick recommended it. Thanks partly to that, I've recently started through Volumes 1 and 2 of the SBL's John, Jesus and History compilations. I'm counting them here because that's a big step for me. For all of us, really. I'm so glad liberal scholars are now willing to critique the fourth Gospel just as harshly as they've been critiquing the first three in recent centuries. ;-)

I'll list the last three without comment: Roger Beckwith's Calendar and Chronology, Thomas Lewin's Fasti Sacri (reprinted from 1865!), and the IVP's Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.

Of course I picked through dozens of other new titles this year, but these were the top ten academic Biblical Studies books that influenced my thinking this year. I also spent more time in the Gospels this year than ever in my life, probably. I also did more of that study in Greek than ever before, thanks partly to the new USB Greek New Testament, A Reader's Edition which I saw several bloggers raving about early in 2009.

Oh, what to read next year? I don't know, but I'm sure to blog about it and Lou's sure to read it.

After all, I'm one of his top 15 most prolific. :-)

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Can't believe you left out Twilight.

Bill said...

Movies count?

Celucien Joseph said...

You've read some really great texts! Did you post about Baucham's book? I don't remember reading anything on your blog. Are you becoming "now" a Johannine scholar? This is exciting as John's Gospel is the most rewarding (just kidding) and interesting Gospel of all four.

By the way, Have a wonderful Christmas. Greet your wife and the kids.
Lou

Bill said...

I only posted that Bauckham's book had arrived, around August, I think.

I'd better know my stuff eventually, about John. The fourth Gospel has first place in reconstructing a chronology of Jesus' public ministry.

I'm also eager to treat spiritual content as historical fact - not mere "truth". :-)

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