For the first time in the history of modern Jesus research Per Bilde aims his scholarly interest at the originality of the historical Jesus. Accordingly he examines the historical Jesus and 14 contemporary Jewish Palestinian figures who, in one or more respects, can be argued to be comparable to Jesus. He comes to the conclusion that Jesus can be regarded as similar to a number of these figures, however, some more than others, and that he appears to be unique in some other respects.That first line is a great example of how little control authors have in the promotion of their books. "For the first time in the history of modern Jesus research..." It certainly catches the eye and I'm sure that was the purpose of the phrase. My guess is that if Dr. Bilde had any say in this promotional copy, he might have put it differently.
Friday, November 22, 2013
"For the first time in the history of modern Jesus research..."
I was flipping through a glossy catalog that the fine folks at ISD sent me yesterday. I was particularly excited to see this title: The Originality of Jesus: A Critical Discussion and Comparative Attempt by Per Bilde. You might recognize Bilde from his work on Josephus. If I ever have an extra $100 to burn, I'll be sure to spend it on late fees related to my borrowing of this book. In all seriousness, this looks like a very interesting read. But what struck me about this book was the description provided by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: