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Back Links and Banter (October 2011)

Here's some worthwhile NT and/or History material elsewhere, recently (not necessarily appearing in Tom Verenna's November BS Carnival) with banter and counterpoint, of course:

Ken Shenck began blogging about Scot McKnight's King Jesus Gospel, and it's fantastic so far.  Shenck's better than most about sticking with his blog series.  Stay tuned to Ken's blog for the rest.  Speaking of Scot's new book, Derek Ouellette offers some interesting observations about McKnight's view of things as compared with NT Wright's.  Speaking of NTW, Nijay Gupta began reviewing Simply Jesus, pointing out that it's a simplification of Wright's own work, so that it could have been better named "Withouth-going-into-all-the-details-Jesus".  Heh.  Still, it should be good.  I'll get to it on my Kindle after I've finished Richard Bauckham's A Short Introduction to Jesus.  Boy, the Lord can still sell those books, can't he!  Don't even try to keep count...

Brian LePort interviewed his fellow Portlander Matt Mikalatos (Part 1, Part 2).  Coincidentally, I just finished re-reading Imaginary Jesus out loud to my wife and kids.  We all thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think the kids learned a lot.  To my wife's comment that she found the end a bit disappointing, I said, "Well, it's easier to tear down than it is to build up."  Still, there's a lot of ground left to clear.  Anyway, Matt, I'm a big fan.  Thanks for giving us something to share as a family.

Over at RBL, Richard Horsley reviewed 2009's big IBR 'HJ' release, Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus. In a strong essay, well worth reading, Horsley commended Robert Webb & Scot McKnight but noted several areas where Darrel Bock & the rest need to make serious improvements. Webb's stuff is without question the best in the book, and I fervently hope the others all pay close attention to Horsley's advice... especially if they're planning to do any more historical work on events in the Gospels.

Speaking of theologians and Gospel events, Daniel Kirk found another reason why we need multiple voices in the Four Gospels to show us the multiple meanings of Jesus' life and teachings.  Amen.  Daniel also spoke against people who want a harmonized fifth Gospel to promote "the one meaning" of Jesus' teachings.  Well, I must confess that never occurred to me.  I'm grateful.  But as regards Daniel's hopes for scholarship inspiring action, I humbly suggest a historical synopsis of Jesus' life and ministry should primarily inspire action, not simply further interpretation.  At any rate, it's a good reminder of why theologians dislike "harmonies", and I don't disagree.

Last but not least, Brian Small pointed out a really impressive feat.  Joel Shorey must have rehearsed for months in order to recite Hebrews.  I'd love to see more people do things like this, but I'd recommend Reader's Theater instead.  (Read the whole letter, but with great feeling.  Why spend energy remembering lines, if you can focus instead on the content and delivering it well.  And yes, I've done this.  It's tough enough, without memorizing.)  Nevertheless, if you have as much talent and time on your hands as Joel obviously did, go on and memorize.  Again, this is a really amazing accomplishment.  Check it out

BRIEFLY:  Irene Hahn drew my attention to a new book on Caesars' Wives.  Note the plural appostrophe. *  David Lamb said what I thought ages and ages ago when I quit reading Study Bibles' study notes. * Omnes Viae is still really cool! * Jona Lendering summarized his entire (new) book, Classics in Decline. * Larry Hurtado pointed out that HJ studies finally and rightfully have a "very Jewish" Jesus, but still don't focus very much on Jesus' own relationship to God. * And the Godfather, Jim West, featured Amy-Jill Levine's just out project, The Jewish Annotated New Testament.  I am definitely going against David Lamb to read this one, which should be here by Tuesday!

More to come, month by month...

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