A couple weeks ago, the Jesus Blog asked this question: If you could choose only two living Jesus scholars to work with, who would they be and why? After 50 entries, here are the results:
Dale C. Allison Jr. - 12
N.T. Wright - 10
John Dominic Crossan - 6
John P. Meier and E.P. Sanders - 5
James D.G. Dunn and Craig A. Evans - 4
Richard Bauckham, Craig Keener, Luke Timothy Johnson, and Amy-Jill Levine - 3
Paula Fredriksen and Gerd Theissen - 2
Twenty others tied with 1
Dale is the king of the world! Perhaps he's en vogue because the world is ending and he is Dr. Apocalypto. ...or it could have something to do with his combination of brilliance, originality, and productivity. His homeless-guy sweater helps the whole tortured genius persona too.
I must admit that I was surprised to see Tom Wright take second place here. I was happy to see Dale get his due (who could argue with this result?), but I was almost certain that the messianic cult that exists within the gravitational pull of Wright's star would eclipse all. But hagiography aside, there is a reason that Tom has received attention that he has. Like Prof. Dr. Keith told me long ago, "You don't get to be N.T. Wright without having a few good ideas."
Crossan makes a great deal of sense. Few have been more influential. Again, I was surprised not to see Meier, Sanders, Evans, and Dunn a bit higher. And there were several that only received one vote that were certainly deserving of more recognition.
Tomorrow I will select my dream team and then ask a new question.