Baker Academic

Friday, February 27, 2015

Competition! Win an Exclusive Copy of Jesus and the Chaos of History!

To celebrate the UK publication of Jesus and the Chaos of History: Redirecting the Quest for the Historical Jesus, The Jesus Blog is giving away one free copy to someone from our loyal army of readers. is possible to reconstruct early Palestinian tradition and provide a way of thinking about this Jesus tradition as a useful means of understanding human society and historical change, rather than simply producing yet another Jesus portrait for the marketplace (though that will inevitably also be the case)...
All you have to do is answer these simple questions in the comments section by no later than Friday 6th March. The wittiest and/or smuggest answer will win.
  • Which contemporary (post-1945) scholarly Jesus (e.g. apocalyptic prophet, Cynic-like philosopher, wisdom teacher, Christian, all of them) would you send to the (metaphorical) gulag and why?
  • If you ruled historical Jesus studies, which Jesus, if any, would you impose on the rest of us and why?
Keep your answers relatively brief, just like Jesus-the-teacher-of-pithy-wisdom-sayings might have done. The winner will be judged by a specialist The Jesus Blog panel. Remember, if you overuse your razor-like wit, you may not win but you will at least have the privilege of being in an online comments section (assuming you aren't censored, obviously).


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  2. Outgoing - Reza Aslan's "Jesus the Zealot". No where near a lion (or, Narnia lying).

    Incoming - Kenneth Bailey's Bedouin based, parable performing, Samaritan supporting messiah. He moves in an honour shame world similar to where I lived in South Asia for 20 years. My neighbours understood him.

  3. To the Gulag - The taken-hostage-by-right-wingers American Jesus--he doesn't look much like the Jesus of the Gospels.

    I would impose the Wrightian Jesus--the triumphant Son of God who overcame the grave and stuck it to the empire!

  4. I'm pretty sure that I will censor this comment, but I would send Simcha Jacobovici's Jesus (husband to a priestess of Artemis) to the gulag for impersonating a scholarly Jesus.

  5. I. I would send the "Celestial/Mythical" Jesus to the Gulag in order to make the blogging world of Biblical studies a more productive place. However if Jesus was just a myth.... not sure how one could send him to a labor camp.
    II. I think I would impose Morton Smith's homosexual wizard Jesus. Would certainly get the kids who dug Harry Potter to read the Bible

  6. I'd send Wright's Jesus to the gulag - dare I say into exile? - along with all those 'Simply...' and '...for Everyone' books. I'd make him construct something sturdier and substantial out of them.

    To rule, I'd impose Paul Holloway's Jesus, whatever he may be.

    Jeff Leopard

  7. Stick the anti-imperial Jesus in the gulag and watch him return as the imperial Jesus!

    Brian Maiden

  8. I would send the definitely post-1945 (BCE) Jesus-the-ghost-of-John-the-Baptist of Herod Antipas to the gulag, because Ghostbusters.

    I would impose Twelfttree's 'Jesus the Exorcist,' because Ghostbusters.

    - J. Ryan

  9. I'd throw the 'inclusive' Jesus to the Gulag, imposing Western Liberalism's grid of self-autonomy hasn't been at all helpful for coming to terms with Jesus.

    On the other hand, I'd impose Ben Myers Aims of Jesus, very helpful for coming to some sort of understanding of who Jesus was.

  10. Send the Marxist Jesus to the gulag because one less Marxist interpretation for the world is a good thing, and impose the less scholarly but accurate (in my opinion) Jesus of Monty Python for the sole purpose of seeing big nose distracting the audience and leading to constant misinterpretation of Jesus' words
    Liam C

  11. I'd get rid of the Jesus of 'Jesus is my homeboy' belt/t-shirt fame (circa 2007) and I'd keep Brian (and Judith).

    - Jack Sabbath

  12. I would send the Jesus-Cynic-like philosopher to the gulag, simply as it distort our understanding of Jesus's mission/aim/self understanding & context

    I would impose wright's Jesus, who was surrounded by evil of this world but God vindicated him through the Resurrection.

  13. To the gulag: Sonseed's "Jesus is a friend of mine." You'll never find a campier Jesus (Lk 9:58)

    To the masses: Sonseed's "Jesus is a friend of mine." Jesus as officer of the RCMP?!?! It doesn't get better than this.

    For the unconverted:

    -Kevin C

  14. To break rocks in the Gulag: Professor Dr. Bultmann's existential Jesus, for attempting to turn the field of NT criticism into a branch of phenomenology. Dankeschön, Herr Professor, aber dürfen Sie Ihre Sein und Zeit für sich behalten.

    The new Party line: Gather about a dozen scholars from Japan, India, China, and Indonesia, lock them in a room for a month with the primary sources, and use whatever they come up with.

  15. Farewell to the gooey "Face of God" Jesus--recently popular sleight of hand that uses religious-studies categories ("the sacred," "religious experience") to imply the disciples hardly noticed Jesus' death, so warmed were their hearts by that same old experience of his presence.

    Back just in time: the failed messiah of Brandon, and most recently Dale Martin. His story isn't over yet.

  16. Nice! I am into cross cultural comparisons

  17. We're all so very clever. Hmmm. I'd better go for smug.

    I will send Crossley's Marxist Jesus to the metaphorical gulag, so he can foment a prisoner revolt.

    When I rule over Biblical Studies, I'll impose Reza Aslan's Jesus, so you can all unite in opposition.


  18. Bart Ehrman's silly Jesus who misinterpreted his own verse about those people who would not taste death etc Gulag deffo.

    I would impose James Crossley's Jesus, especially if I knew who he was (and that's not because I want to win a book and stuff ) :)

  19. Gulag: Bultmann's existential Jesus - a complete projection of the scholar's own concerns onto the historical figure of Jesus.

    I'd impose the Jesus of E.P. Sanders' "Jesus and Judaism" (SCM Press, 1985) - the book which really kick-started the Third Quest (Vermes and Harvey almost anticipate this - see Sanders' own comments in his introduction on Harvey's "Jesus and the Constraints of History" - but didn't quite present the comprehensive portrait Sanders developed)

    David Cavanagh

  20. The Jesus I want to impose on others is a Crossley’s Jesus (what else should I say? I want this book so badly). Putting jokes aside, the Jesus I want to impose is the only historically reliable Jesus, I mean a fully Torah observing Jewish fella as in line with the arguments of Sanders (with altered interpretation of Jesus’s attitude toward the Temple), Vermes, Boyarin, Levine, Casey and … Crossley. It just happens he is on the right side of the fence with this, no apple polish (it’s funny cause I’m actually Polish ;)

    The Jesus I would send to a guag is an Allegro’s Jesus. If it all was because of drugs (mushrooms) and sex, I’m positive people in my home time (the size of modern Nazareth) would come up with something much more powerful that Christianity. Especially more turning water into wine (vodka) stories would be cherished. But to be honest, I would send both the winner and his/her Jesus to the guag for making my day miserable….

  21. The Jesus I like to send to the gulag is Anthony le Donne's Jesus as member of a dysfunctional family. Not that I think he hasn't got a strong point. But although i left church before I read this, I can't get the picture of Jesus (as prophet/son of God) shouting at his mother, out of my head.

    The Jesus I like to impose is Jesus the layabout.
    Ok, this Jesus isn't put forward by a scholar, but by an obscure singer songwriter (Adam Brodsky).
    But when I think about it, Jesus the layabout might as well be the same as Anthony's Jesus, who shouts at his mother.

  22. To the gulag, nay, to Gehenna must go Le Donne's simultaneously 'triangulated', 'circular' and 'spiral' Jesus, as this monstruousity is evidently a contradiction in terms.

    When We become Emperor, We will impose the objective, authentic, un-interpreted Jesus that consists of brute facts of bedrock history, because this is the only Jesus that could possibly be congruent with God's gift to mankind, that is, the criteria of authenticity.

    I assume Dr Crossley's book agrees with this neutral, scientific perspetive.

    1. Who is Zeb? Is there indeed another one who has refused to bow down before the Memory Approach?

  23. To the gulag: Crossan's Hellenistic Cynic Sage. It makes very little historical sense to portray Jesus this way.

    Imposed: Allison's millenarian/eschatological prophet. It is a nuanced and balanced portrayal of a credible, Jewish, Jesus.

    - Marc G. Dam