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Jesus & the Restoration of Israel: A Critical Assessment of N.T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God [Paperback]

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Item Number 134730  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.01" Height: 0.92"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 13, 1999
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830815872  
EAN  9780830815876  

Availability  80 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 07:39.
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Item Description...
IVP Print On Demand Title Acclaimed as one of the most significant works in the quest for the historical Jesus, Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God reveals a surprising portrait of Christ. In this critical appraisal of Wright's book, Alister McGrath, Marcus Borg, and other well-known scholars discuss Wright's views on Jesus' identity, acts, and sayings. Includes a response from Wright.

Publishers Description
N. T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God is widely heralded as one of the most significant and brilliantly argued works in the current "third quest" of the historical Jesus. In this second volume of his multivolume investigation entitled Christian Origins and the Question of God, Wright uncovers a Jesus that most historians and believers have never met. Rooted and engaged in the soil of Israel's history, its first-century plight and its prophetic hope, Wright's portrait of Jesus has set new terms of discourse and debate. Through Wright's lens, familiar sayings and actions of Jesus have fresh meaning. But in the midst of all that is new, Wright also offers a profile of Jesus that bears striking lines of continuity with the Jesus of Christian belief and worship. This resemblance has captured the attention of confessing Christian biblical scholars and theologians. Wright's work thus far is of such consequence that it seemed timely and strategic to publish a scholarly engagement with his reconstruction of the historical Jesus. Like all works in progress, Wright's proposal is still under construction. But its cornerstone has been laid, the foundation has been formed, the pillars and walls are going up, and even if we cannot yet see how the ceiling, roof and parapets will look, there is quite enough to engage the minds of colleagues, critics and other curious onlookers. For the purposes of this book (and in keeping with IVP's own evangelical identity), editor Carey Newman invited scholars who are committed to Christian belief as it has been classically defined to engage Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God. Newman sets the stage with an introduction, and Craig Blomberg offers a critical and appreciative overview of Jesus and the Victory of God. Various facets of Wright's proposal are then investigated by contributors: Paul Eddy on Jesus as prophet, Messiah and embodiment of Yahweh Klyne Snodgrass on the parables Craig Evans on Israel under continuing exile Darrell Bock on the trial and death of Jesus Dale Allison on apocalyptic language Richard Hays on ethics Alister McGrath on the implications for evangelical theology Stephen Evans on methodological naturalism in historical biblical scholarship Luke Timothy Johnson on Wright's historiography To these essayists Wright extends his "grateful dialogue." He gives this spirited and illuminating reply to his interlocuters: "The high compliment of having a whole book devoted to the discussion of one's work is finely balanced by the probing, intelligent questions and by the occasional thud of a blunt instrument on the back of one's head. . . . Only once did I look up my lawyer's telephone number." After Wright takes his turn, his good friend and frequent partner in debate Marcus Borg offers his "appreciative disagreement." Newman then concludes the dialogue with his own reflections on moving from Wright's reconstruction of the historical Jesus to the church's Christ. A book assessing a scholar's work is usually an end-of-career event. But in this case interested readers can look forward with eager anticipation to Wright's next volume in Christian Origins and the Question of God--this one on the resurrection of Jesus.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Helpful analysis  May 12, 2003
This collection of reviews will be helpful to anyone with a thorough working knowledge of Wright points as illustrated in JVG. The assembledge of critics are primarily focused on Wright's treatment of Mark little apocalypse and the coming of the Son of Man not referring to Christ's awaited second coming. Wright continues to maintain, skillfully, that Mark's passage refers to the impending doom surrounding the events of 66-70 AD. He responds to his critics here, not by offering anything in the way of additional evidence, but by clarifying points already made in JVG.
The summaries of Wright's arguments are extremely helpful in offering different perspectives, but readers will not come away feeling that Wright's views have been refuted.
Great overview of an interesting view of Jesus  Jul 10, 2001
This book is a perfect introduction to N.T. Wright's view of Jesus. It's essays are written by some of the brightest scholars and respresent a variety of takes on Wright's work.

On the whole this work relects positively on Wright. Evenso, Borg's response is not dismissed but rather given the penultimate position in the book.

Invigorating and Vital Debate  May 25, 2000
Jesus and the Victory of God (JVG) is Wright's brilliant treatment of Jesus (pre-Easter). In his critique of Crossan he writes that it is difficult to disengage from the superb rhetoric in which Crossan expresses himself. The same may be said of Wright. For this reason it is helpful to have a collection of responses to Wright's work (which is still in progress).

A number of other reviewers have expressed impatience with the essayists. Typical is the comment that they seem to be operating within "the old paradigm". In my view this is unfair for two reasons.

The first is the fact that it is not wholly accurate. For example, Craig Evans staunchly defends Wright's controversial view that Jews of the Second Temple period thought of themselves as still in exile. Marcus Borg certainly does not fit within the stereotype of conservative scholarship feeling threatened that some woul like to paint, nor does Luke Timothy Johnson (for whom Wright reserves his most damning criticism).

Moreover, however convincing I have found Wright (and I most definitely found his reading of the evidence persuasive) it simply will not do to consider the whole thing settled. That sounds more like an older generation speaking of "the assured results of historical criticism". That is uncritical thinking (something of which Wright is appropriately damning).

I do think at times that Wright's impatience with his reviewers was justified. That, however, must be qualified: there were times Wright could have been clearer. This is most so on the crucial issue of the continuing exile. It was not until I had reread JVG several times that I grasped the point Wright makes in response to McGrath: namely that the return from exile is not a "pattern" or a motif, but an understanding of the course of salvation history. I remember writing an essay in which I myself made the same error as McGrath, thinking that this was an image that was overplayed.

However, in contrast to some of the other reviewers, I do think that there were issues raised to which Wright has yet to respond properly. In this category there falls, unsuprisingly, the issue of Jesus' eschatology. Wright is absolutely correct in arguing that, for example, Mark 13 is not about the second coming but the destruction of Jerusalem and Jesus' use of Daniel 7 refers to his vindication and exaltaion. Yet there are portions of the Jesus tradition that do not seem to fit with this. Under this heading we might list talk of the (general) resurrection.

Another reviewer has said that it would have been good to have had responses from other scholars such as Witherington. Certainly. It might also have been good to have had responses from those who are operating within the same paradign as Wright yet disagree with him on some important issues. Crispin Fletcher-Louis would be an example. That said it is important not to expect too much from one book.

A good survey  Mar 6, 2000
An excellent scholarly discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of N. T. Wright's provocative work. There is no obvious evidence of bias in the selection of scholars. Most papers included in the book are written by scholars of international repute. There is both trenchant criticism and well argued support. It is a useful way of gaining an overview of the reception of Wright's work amongst New Testament scholars and seeing quickly where (and why) his work is controversial.
The idea for this book was a very good one: Wright has written a book to be reckoned with so let's see what the scholars are saying about his work. Hopefully, their reactions will provide more clarification and help us gain greater understanding of Jesus. But, two things went badly wrong.

While there is some good material contained in the book, for the MOST part the reviews were shallow and picky. At times, you wondered whether the reviewer had really read Wright's book, or, at least, really tried to come to grips with it. Most of the responses were obviously emotional reactions to Wright's reading of apocalytic, which was, in turn, read by the "conservative" reviewers as a direct threat to their affirmation of the "Second Coming" of Christ. This in spite of the fact that Wright affirms a future consummation-- only he does not think that many of the passages in Scripture that have traditionally been used to support that fact actually refer to it. In general, there was very little substantive provided by way of "working through" Wright's ideas. This was clearly an opportunity for many of these more "evangelical" scholars to gain respect for their scholarship, but, sadly, they showed just how their dominant theological view can be and how it can inhibit scholarly objective research.

Part of the fault of the book must lie with the format of the book itself. Basically, Wright's book is a historical work with direct relevance to Christological study, which includes a treatment of the synoptic materials. Yet, reviewers covering the full range of N.T. theology (e.g., ethics) were chosen to participate. It seems it would have gone very differently if some of the top scholars had been chosen to review his work (e.g., Sanders, Witherington), and the subject areas limited to those actually dealt with by Wright. Several of the reviewers actually stated that it was a bit unfair of them to review his work when he did not actually deal with the topic of their critique! This project thus began on the wrong foot and hobbled along the entire course. This is why, in his response to his reviewers, Wright had more than a few hard words for them.


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