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What Are They Saying About the Historical Jesus? (What Are They Saying About...?) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   190
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Paulist Press
ISBN  080914445X  
EAN  9780809144457  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
David B. Gowler's book introduces, as succinctly as possible, the current scholarly thinking about Jesus of Nazareth. This book summarizes, analyzes, and critiques current influential portraits of Jesus. It answers questions such as: What type of Jew was Jesus? How much of a role, if any, did apocalyptic/eschatological elements play in the teaching of Jesus? How can we best integrate Jesus' words and deeds to reconstruct a more complete portrait? It concludes that any portrait of the historical Jesus must come to terms with Jesus as both an apocalyptic prophet and a prophet of social and economic justice for an oppressed people. It seeks to go beyond today's "domesticated Jesus" and to rediscover the Jesus of Nazareth who was a prophet of an oppressed people, who lived his life as a poor peasant artisan suffering under Roman and Herodian oppression in first-century Galilee, and who proclaimed and inaugurated the kingdom of God. Recommended for:* students of the Bible * college classes * private enrichment

Publishers Description
A concise but thorough survey of current scholarly thinking on Jesus' parables, for the ordinary reader.

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More About David B. Gowler

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David B. Gowler, PhD, is the Dr. Lovick Pierce and Bishop George F. Pierce Chair of Religion at Emory University, where he also directs the Pierce Institute for Leadership and Community Engagement and is senior faculty fellow for the Center for Ethics. He has authored numerous books, including What Are They Saying about the Parables? and James through the Centuries.

David B. Gowler was born in 1958.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A brief book on the history of the historical Jesus school  Aug 27, 2007
Gowler is a genial writer, and this short book is a pleasant and interesting read.

For such a complex topic it's also quite short--not even 200 pages. That's because he doesn't try to cover everything. The search for the historical Jesus has held scholars in a thrall for well over two hundred years, starting with Reimarus and Strauss.

The theory held that the actual historical Jesus needed to be teased out of layers of faith. "Foundational to the Liberal Quest was the belief that one could establish through historical-critical methodology the authentic teaching and historical person of Jesus" (p 9).

Gowler only briefly sketches the early part of the historical quest. Most of his book deals only with the major, and most recent scholarship.

There is a very long section on the Jesus Seminar, whom Gowler appears to admire. And then there is a section on the critics of the Jesus Seminar.
This is where the book gets especially entertaining and personal. Luke Timothy Johnson, a foe of the Jesus Seminar, points out that Funk is best known for his "'grandiosity and hucksterism" (p 43) and he also "questions the academic credentials" (p 43) of some members of the Seminar.

I had to take off a star because Gowler insists, against massive evidence to the contrary, that looking into the historical Jesus will "lead to a more authentic, robust and mature faith" (p144). Oh, come on. How will reading Crossan state that Jesus was never resurrected strengthen faith?

Besides, the search for the historical Jesus looks like it is finally coming to a close, with every one of the major tenets refuted. Time and again, the historical method has only revealed...the critics themselves. Otherwise, why did the liberal von Harnack supposedly historical Jesus look like exactly like the liberal gentleman von Harnack and why did Crossan's Jesus, in the midst of social revolution and hippies, look like yet another social revolutionary hippie?

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