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Companions and Competitors (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume 3) [Hardcover]

By John P. Meier (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   720
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.8"
Weight:   2.45 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 2001
Publisher   Anchor Bible
ISBN  0385469934  
EAN  9780385469937  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Outline's Best of 2001No man is an island, not even Jesus, as John Meier writes in Companions and Competitors, the third installment of his four-part series, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. The first volume, an overview of Jesus' background, chronology, and early years, was followed by a second that analyzed Jesus' most important messages and deeds. Here, Meier explains his conviction that "No human being is adequately understood if he or she is considered in isolation from other human beings." He leads readers through the concentric circles of companions (including the followers who became his disciples and apostles) and competitors (such as Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Samaritans) that shaped Jesus' life in first-century Palestine. Meier, a priest and New Testament scholar at Notre Dame, writes in the engaging, methodical style of an astringently avuncular professor: chapters are carefully outlined, with straightforward headings such as "Points of Comparison and Contrast," "Caveats on Comparisons," and "The Sheer Oddness of Jesus"). His findings, particularly his explanation of "the essentially Jewish nature" of Jesus' relationships, are a valuable addition to the field of Historical Jesus scholarship. --Michael Joseph Gross

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More About John P. Meier

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John P. Meier is William K. Warren Professor of Theology (New Testament) at the University of Notre Dame and the author of A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus. He has also written six other books and over seventy articles. At various times he has been the editor or associate editor of The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, New Testament Studies, and Dead Sea Discoveries.

John P. Meier currently resides in the state of Indiana.

John P. Meier has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Lex Orandi
  2. Marginal Jew; Rethinking the Historical Jesus

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Jesus > Historical Jesus   [521  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > General   [1794  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology   [2037  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Does scholarship work?  Jun 21, 2005
The work of excellent biblical scholars like John P. Meier is fantastically impressive. But there is a serious question to be pondered. After four hundred years of biblical scholarship it is more than clear -- it is Loud and Clear -- that Christianity is fiction. The real Jesus and the Jesus of the Gospels and the Epistles are not the same. The Gospels are propaganda not history. But people still believe what the churches and clergy tell them. That makes the work of scholars from Richard Simon and Benedict Spinoza in the 17th Century to thst of John P. Meier in thke 21st Century WHAT???? Certainly not effective.

What is the point of it all?
Somewhat Disappointing  Jan 28, 2005
I've commented on the first two volumes of John P. Meier's series A MARGINAL JEW. This series is a centrist (or perhaps slightly left of center) work on the historical Jesus. While Meier denies or suspects the historicity of parts of the New Testament (such as the infancy narratives) he also thinks that the Gospel presentation of Jesus (a miracle worker who preached a present and future Kingdom of God) is accurate to a large extent.

Volume three is something of a disappointment. Meier discusses Jesus' followers (the crowds, disciples & apostles) and also Jesus' Jewish "competitors" (Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Essenes & Herodians). My concern centers on Meier's discussion of Jesus' competitors. It is evident from a casual reading of the NT that Jesus often came into dispute with the Jews of his day. As Meier notes, this is clear from an analysis of all the sources available. While Meier's discussion of these groups is interesting and informative, the issue of why Jesus disputed with them is not as detailed as one might expect. For example, the section entitled "Jesus and the Pharisees" is all of eight pages. Yet there are a great many statements of Jesus which are quite hostile to the Jews of his day that cry out for discussion. I realize that the at times shameful treatment of Jews by Western Christianity makes people reticent to discuss these issues, but I wonder if we are too accustomed to hearing about "Jesus the Jew" and "the Jewish roots of Christianity" to discusses these issues frankly. Meier promises that the fourth and final volume will tackle Jesus' view of the law, and I imagine that here Jesus' dispute with his contemporaries will figure prominently.
Another good book in the series  Mar 29, 2002
In this book Meier investigates Jesus' followers, disciples, and the other Jewish groups that Jesus interacted with. He wisely doesn't try to draw too many conclusions about Jesus' interaction with other Jewish groups because of the scarcity of sources. His treatment of Jesus' disciples is wonderfully done and brings insight into the nature of Jesus' disciples. I'm eagerly waiting the 4th book of the series.
In awe of scholarship...  Feb 20, 2002
I must say all of the books in this series are excellent. Meier looks at the evidence and reaches very logical conclusions. I want to also say that one has to be extremely impressed with the depth of scholarship and thought that Meier puts into all his "Marginal Jew" books. This one is no exception.
Worth the effort.  Nov 19, 2001
Consistent with the overall quality of the Anchor Bible Series, the "Marginal Jew" series impresses with the depth, honesty, and objectivity of its scholarship. It may be that nobody is completely impartial when it comes to assessing the historical Jesus, but John Meier comes far closer than most, and he documents every opinion he offers. (If you're into footnotes, and I mean thousands of them,is this ever the series for you!)

I took on the challenge of this series when I read that Raymond E. Brown, the late great Catholic scholar and author, gave his highest marks to the first two volumes. Similar to Brown, Meier cooly and adeptly applies the tools of critical scholarship to his task of learning what we can of the historical Jesus. Fundamentalists will find his approach too liberal. Jesus Seminar types will find him too conservative. As a believing Christian who also wants to be intellectually honest in my faith, I think he's just right.


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