Jesus Against the Scribal Elite

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Book that Drew You In? - Le Donne

Some folks who decide to pursue the critical/academic side of Christian origins are attracted by a class or a professor who opens up new avenues of thought.  For others, it is a book that does this.  The book that opened my eyes was Raymond Brown's Anchor commentary on John.  The Fourth Gospel is (perhaps more than any other in the NT) an entirely different read pre- vs. post-naïveté.  Opening Brown's commentary was something of an Alice in Wonderland experience for me.

Was there a book or author that invited you to critical thought? If so, what was it?

-anthony

14 comments:

  1. Tom Wright's WHAT SAINT PAUL REALLY SAID was so eye-opening that it ignited the flame for my academic interest in Pauline studies in particular. Luke Timothy Johnson has also continued to blow me away with new ways of thinking about the Gospels and Jesus, and also about worldview and creeds.

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  2. Probably several, but the one that sticks out in my memory the most is Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man; it not only expanded my idea of what biblical scholarship could look like, it resonated with some inchoate interest in the broader connections between "religion" and "politics." It made Mark's Gospel radical at a moment in my life I didn't know that was possible.

    Eric

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    1. That was an important one for me too.

      -anthony

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  3. In my undergrad at LCU, Prof. Eric Teoro had us read what is actually an economics book called "A Conflict of Visions" by Thomas Sowell. While it is an economics book, it was a game changer for my life and carried over into religious studies. I didn't read this until a semester before I graduated, which is a total shame because I think I would have approached my studies and classes, biblical and business, at Lincoln Christian a lot differently had I read this book first.

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  4. I had an evangelical atheist professor of NT whose arguments I had to investigate for the sake of my own belief. So I started looking into the history of it all for myself. It would probably upset him to know that his agenda only led me deeper into admiration of Jesus. I started following your blog a couple days after you began writing, and reading it was a big part of my search.

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  5. Bart Ehrman. Specifically, his lectures for The Teaching Company.

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  6. My experience was a collection of books in a new field of study, for me, about five years ago: History of Interpretation.

    William Baird's volumes 1–2 (now 3) and Neill and Wright's History of Interpretation shattered presuppositions, foci, and a myopic view of biblical interpretation by revealing a naive approach to the scriptures.

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  7. I would really have to point to one class (Introduction to the Gospels), two professors in undergrad (Jon Weatherly, who taught that Gospels class, and James Smith), and an A&E Biography on Jesus that John Dominic Crossan was part of. If forced to pick a book, though, I think I would have to go with Neill and Wright's Interpretation of the New Testament 1861-1986.

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  8. NT Wright's The Challenge of Jesus shook me out of my fundamentalist undergrad experience days before starting seminary.

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  9. For me, it was the many books of Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, particularly Borg's JESUS: A NEW VISION. While my own thinking on the historical Jesus and related subjects is at the point where I no longer agree with many of their conclusions, I still regard their works fondly as my inspiration for entering the field of biblical studies.

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  10. I would have to say my first exposure to primary source languages ignited the flame. Rafael Rodriguez would compare his Greek class to skiing in front of an avalanche thereby "encouragingly" making the implicit claim: if you fall behind, you will die. His book "Structuring Early Christian Memory," was also highly influential.

    The many works of Stanley Porter, Dale Allison, Richard Horsley and even N.T. Wright also peaked my interest in various dimensions of NT Studies. But Rafael was certainly the first to invite me into the world of critical thought!

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  11. The Challenge of Jesus when I was in my undergrad that started the Jesus Journey for me and your book started a Hermeneutical Revolution in my life...

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  12. I would say being exposed to some of the Dutch radicals, Dr. Robert Price, Dr. Hermann Detering, etc. has opened a rabbit hole that is seemingly endless.

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  13. Tom Wright's The Challenge of Jesus.

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