Reviews of Earl Doherty’s Books by GakuseiDon

From GakuseiDon’s site, the summary of his article on Jesus Mythicist Earl Doherty’s The Jesus Myth:

This article looks at Earl Doherty’s comments on second century Christian writings and the Jesus Myth in his book “The Jesus Puzzle”. Doherty puts forward the thesis that some Second Century apologists subscribed to a Christianity that was devoid of a historical Jesus. I conclude that Doherty’s analysis is flawed, and that there is no reason to conclude that those apologists didn’t believe in a historical Jesus.

GakuseiDon’s Reviews.

Larry Hurtado Responds to Responds to His Book Lord Jesus Christ

Ben Witherington III re-blogs a post by Larry Hurtado in which the latter briefly reviews some responses to his magnum opus: Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (2003).

An excerpt:

In a recent comment, Sean Garrigan suggested that I provide pointers to some of the critical engagements that have been offered to my work on early Jesus-devotion, particularly in my book, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Eerdmans, 2003). I’m thinking of preparing a fuller discussion for another occasion, so here I’ll simply give the bibliographical information on critiques and any responses from me.

via Hurtado on the Worship of Jesus— Revisited.

Larry Hurtado Comments on The Jewish Annotated New Testament at the 2012 SBL

Ben Witherington III re-blogs Larry W. Hurtado’s comments on The Jewish Annotated New Testament by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) given in a panel discussion at the 2012 meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Chicago.

Hurtado was positive on the book, but felt that the authors and editors missed the remarkable way that Jesus was portrayed in Old Testament texts.  For example, see this excerpt:

On the specifics of how well the book introduces the NT and how well it handles christological matters, I’ve both praise and some criticisms. I won’t repeat all the details here (and may publish my review in due course). But, to focus on the latter, I did sense what seemed like a kind of “tone-deafness” to the christological issues and data at some points. E.g., in the otherwise good treatment of Philippians and the “Christ-hymn” in Philip 2:6-11, I find no mention that vv. 9-11 reflect a stunning revisionist-reading of the passage in Isaiah 45 where a universal acclamation of God (YHWH) is predicted. In the allusion to this passage in Philip 2:9-11 we see early Christians novel affirmation that the universal acclamation of God is to take place in the form of a universal acclamation of Jesus as “Kyrios”.

Likewise, in the comments on Romans 10:13, there is no indication of a similar stunning re-interpretation of the OT passage (Joel 2:32) proclaiming that “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”. In Rom 10:13, clearly this devotional/worship act of acclamation/invocation is now directed to Jesus as Lord.

via The Jewish Annotated New Testament– a Review. Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence (Studying the Historical Jesus) (2000) by Robert E. Van Voorst

Robert E. Van Voorst chronicles the evidence for Jesus that exists outside the New Testament documents.

Book Description:

Did Jesus actually exist? Much has been written recently on this subject, including numerous books examining the New Testament record of Jesus? life. Now Robert Van Voorst presents and critiques the ancient evidence outside the New Testament? the Roman, Jewish, pre-New Testament, and post-New Testament writings that mention Jesus. This fascinating study of the early Christian and non-Christian record includes fresh translations of all the relevant texts. Van Voorst shows how and to what extent these ancient writings can be used to help reconstruct the historical Jesus.

Publishers’ Weekly said:

This book’s aim is promising: to evaluate the evidence we have, outside of the Christian scriptures themselves, for the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. Van Voorst is a capable guide to this territory, which ranges from citations in Roman correspondence to the early Christian writings often called the “New Testament Apocrypha.” His lucid and judicious account of the state of scholarship will be most helpful to seminary students and others beginning to engage this material. Unfortunately if inevitably, the different sources are treated unevenly, with the very well-known classical quotations from Tacitus, Pliny and the like receiving extensive treatment while the more lengthy–and debated–proto-gnostic texts receive scant attention. Van Voorst devotes a surprising amount of energy to refuting the idea that Jesus never existed. He also includes a long and inconclusive chapter about what we can learn from the assumed sources of the New Testament itself, which is more a tutorial in 20th-century scholarship than evidence from “outside” the New Testament. Seminary professors will want to consider assigning this book, but those looking for revelations about Jesus of Nazareth will be disappointed, since after much scholarly muckraking the author himself concludes that the New Testament is our best evidence after all. Better to turn to works like John Meier’s A Marginal Jew for more fully considered and provocative accounts of the historical Jesus. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence (Studying the Historical Jesus) (2000) by Robert E. Van Voorst.

The Jewish Annotated New Testament (eds. A-J Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler) A Review « Crux Sola

Nijay Gupta reviews The Jewish Annotated New Testament.  Here’s how he begins:

Oxford University Press recently published The Jewish Annotated New Testament edited by A-J Levine (Vanderbilt) and Marc Zvi Brettler (Brandeis). As you might suspect, the purpose of this volume is the provide scholarship on the Jewish contexts in which the NT and the community of Jesus followers arose. The book is made up of two parts: the first part is the text of the New Testament (NRSV) with introductory and study notes by Jewish scholars. The second part of the book is a mini-dictionary with a variety of entries on aspects of early Judaism and the Jewish background and contexts of the NT by the same scholars.

For the full post see The Jewish Annotated New Testament (eds. A-J Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler) A Review « Crux Sola.

DrIBEX Ideas / The Jewish Gospels

Dr. William Varner is excited about The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Chris by Daniel Boyarin.  Here’s how Dr. Varner starts:

There are few books that really challenge my thinking anymore. The Jewish Gospels by Daniel Boyarin is one. And I mean challenge in a good sense. Boyarin is Professor of Talmud at the UC, Berkeley. In the Intro, Jack Miles calls him “one of two or three greatest rabbinic scholars in the world.” Boyarin thinks Judaism and Christianity are compatible, and his goal is to help Christians and Jews to stop vilifying each other. He doesn’t follow Jesus and isn’t asking fellow Jews to do so, but he demolishes the idea that Christian devotion to Jesus is contradictory to Judaism or that Christianity is anything other than a Judaism to which mostly non-Jews have been drawn. Jews in the time of Jesus were looking, he says, for a divine messiah, and Jesus’ earliest followers were kosher Jews. The sad separation and enmity of Judaism and Christianity is something to get beyond, not something to perpetuate.

via DrIBEX Ideas / The Jewish Gospels.

See also Joel Willitts’ review of this book.

See also Michael F. Bird’s comments on this book.